Obama 'small donor' fundraising is lagging
Barack Obama may have revolutionized fundraising on the internet in 2008, but 2012 is a different story.
The New York Times:
Through June 30, the close of the most recent campaign reporting period, more than 552,000 people had contributed to Mr. Obama's re-election effort, according to campaign officials. Half of them were new donors, and nearly all of them gave contributions of less than $250.
But those figures obscured another statistic: a vast majority of Mr. Obama's past donors, who number close to four million, have not yet given him any money at all.
The campaign is still in its early stages, and the president is likely to show far stronger numbers than any Republican when the candidates report their third-quarter fund-raising early next month. But his recent political difficulties - a protracted battle over raising the national debt limit, sagging approval ratings - have raised questions about whether he will be able to sustain his fund-raising momentum.
"He did not articulate either to the Republicans that he was negotiating with or to the American people a strong stance for what we feel the Democrats believe in," Theodore Weiss, 77, a retired federal employee in Florida, said of the debt negotiations.
While he was impressed with Mr. Obama's recent jobs speech, Mr. Weiss said, he will not send Mr. Obama any checks this year. Instead, he said, he will use that money to help out his two sons, a teacher and a small-business owner, both of whom are struggling in the economic downturn.
No doubt any loss in these small donors will be made up by the whales - bundlers will almost certainly exceed the amount they raised in 2008. But this almost certainly means that the president's goal to raise $1 billion will be very difficult, if not impossible to reach.