Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Degree Level



Political Science


Sebold, Karen

Committee Member/Reader

Dowdle, Andrew

Committee Member/Second Reader

Davidson, Fiona

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Joseph


This undergraduate honors thesis focuses on the 2020 Presidential Election between current President Joseph Biden and former President Donald Trump, and how the two candidates raised their money, geographically speaking, during the general election cycle. Presidential campaigns are more expensive than ever, and candidates now face the need to maintain levels of campaign spending that are comparable to their competing candidates. In order to maintain high levels of spending, these campaigns must raise funds effectively, and develop means in which they can outraise and outspend their competitors. In the financial funding race between campaigns, trends arise across election cycles regarding how certain state populations donate to candidates, and this thesis hopes to examine these trends, while examining if they were present in 2020. Through examining literature discussing election cycles dating back to 1988, and gathering contribution data from the Federal Election Commission, this thesis strives to determine where the two candidates successfully raised the funding for their campaigns at the state-level, and if the trends seen in previous election cycles continued in 2020. Campaign finance and political geography are two of the most relevant topics in political science, and this thesis examines and studies both.


Presidential elections, campaign finance, political geography, fundraising, individual contributions