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Ron Paul gets the most military donations

Feb. 9, 2012 - 04:05PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 9, 2012 - 04:05PM  |  
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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is, by far, getting more military campaign contributions than anyone else in the 2012 field.

President Obama ranks second, a review of Federal Election Commission donor records shows.

Paul, an Air Force veteran and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has taken in $242,507 in 1,405 donations from people who list the military as their employer on donation records. This includes members of the active and reserve forces, retirees, civilian workers, veterans and some spouses if they listed one of the military services as their employer.

President Obama has taken in $130,041 in 1,156 donations, according to the records, which include donations made through Dec. 31.

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor running for the Republican presidential nomination, ranks third among military donations, collecting $22,753 in 55 donations.

FEC records are notoriously hard to count because they often have errors in the amount of donations, abbreviations and misspellings. Since there are no standardized responses for "employer," some donors used that field to make a statement. One donor listed his employer as "USAF Not For Long." Another donor listed her occupation as "Navy wife and mother of three."

The fourth and fifth ranked recipients of campaign donations from the military have dropped out of the race. Businessman Herman Cain received 102 donations for $16,783, according to the records, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., received 94 donations totaling $14,464.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has received 57 donations for $11,550, Texas Gov. Rick Perry received 16 donations for $7,475 and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has received 15 donations for $4,179.

Gingrich and Santorum are still in the race for the Republican nomination, but Perry has withdrawn.

Paul, who is trailing in election polls, drew the most money from Army-affiliated donors — $103,779 of his total in 630 donations. He received 356 Air Force donations totaling $56,544; 312 Navy donations totaling $68,157; and 107 Marine Corps donations totaling $14,027, according to the records.

Obama also drew most of his military donations from people affiliated with the Army, receiving $68,236 in 613 donations. He received $25,616 in 233 Air Force donations, $29,137 in 220 Navy donations and $7,052 in 90 Marine Corps donations.

Among the other Republicans still running for the nomination, the Army-affiliated donors have been responsible for $13,408 of Romney's $22,750 in military campaign funds and for $6,350 of Gingrich's $11,550 total. Santorum has slightly more Army than Navy donations, but Navy donors have been more generous. He received eight donations totaling $1,480 from Army donors and five donations totaling $2,250 from Navy donors.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story had different totals for donors and campaign donations. This update reflects totals gathered using a different, more complete database.

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