Despite their calls to reduce the influence of big money in politics, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain are both relying on affluent patrons to fund the first billion-dollar campaign in history.
Obama is touting the multitudes of small contributors who have given him less than $200, but well-heeled donors who gave $1,000 or more account for one-third of his haul nationally, and at least 20 percent of his $5.2 million take so far in Minnesota.
McCain is depending even more on big-buck donors, with $1,000-plus contributors making up about three-fourths of the $1.2 million he raised in Minnesota through June.
Presidential fundraising in Minnesota, which ranks 25th among the states in contributions, also is showing how a small cadre of influential "bundlers" on both sides are mining the same high-bracket ZIP codes for the largest hauls of their campaigns.
Tops in the state in overall presidential giving is the 55391 ZIP code centered on Wayzata, home to Carlson family scion Curtis Nelson. Nelson is a prominent McCain donor.
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