Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science (MA)

Degree Level



Political Science


Andrew J. Dowdle

Committee Member

Song Yang

Second Committee Member

Patrick A. Stewart


Social sciences, Campaign finance, Presidential nomination, Social networks


Campaign donations are something that scholars have examined for some time, generally treating these donations as an aggregated explanatory variable. Through technological advances in computing, size is no longer a limitation that inhibits scholars from using this information in a robust manner. First, data aggregated at the state level, shows that donations made to the presidential nomination process in 2008 distributes across the many states in a way that is highly correlated to the population of the United States. From there, additional sorting methods select the donors that appear on multiple candidates' records. A network is then created to show to relationship of the shared donors of the 17 candidates that participated in the invisible primary of 2007. The results of the network shed light on the idea of the cohesiveness of each party as well as the potential for a new forecasting measure.