Obama’s Fundraising

$25 million total; $23.5 million for the primary. 100,000 donors – more than Hillary and Edwards combined. More than 50,000 internet donors – more than Hillary’s total number of donors. And the Democratic haul was $25 million more than the Republican one. But that’s just the stuff that’s widely known. More impressing is the little-mentioned stuff. Like the fact that Obama beat Hillary: not just in the expectations game, not just in donor numbers, but in hard cash:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) raised “at least $25 million” for his presidential bid in the first three months of 2007, according to CNN. Of that amount, $23.5 million can be used in the primaries.
Though Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hasn’t broken out the amount of money she can use in the primaries, it’s widely assumed that Obama raised more. We should know for sure when official FEC reports are filed on April 15.

Emphasis mine. This isn’t surprising; Hillary’s specialized in throwing $4600-per-person events, which is split half-and-half between her primary and general funds. So I’d posit that Obama didn’t just beat her where it matters – primary money – but womped her. Also little-noted is this point, emailed to Ezra Klein from Nick Beaudrot, who guest-blogs for Ezra and blogs at Electoral Math:

The most impressive thing about Obama is how low his per-contribution take was from non-internet sources.
Obama got $25M from around 100,000 donors. But, $6.9M came from 50,000 online donors. That means his non-online donors averaged $362 per contribution from offline sources. In contrast, Edwards non-online sources were around $1070 per contribution, and Clinton’s at $2080.
This means Obama can max out his offline donors for an additional $96.9M, way more than Edwards (10.7M at most by my estimate) or Clinton (2.3M, though perhaps more depending on how much of her money is for the general).

Think about that. Obama’s maximum future yield from offline donors is almost ten times greater than that of Edwards, and nearly fifty times greater than that of Hillary. This is going to be the only quarter that things are even close.
Suffice to say, I’m thrilled.
P.S. It’s official: Obama beat Hillary. Not by as much as I would have predicted/hoped, but still by a substantial margin.

3 thoughts on “Obama’s Fundraising

  1. I suppose that the main concern all along was whether Obama can win the election. If he can, great, more power to him. I have to agree that he sounds more genuine than Hillary Clinton.
    On the other hand, it’s terrible that fundraising has become a de facto first-round primary. It is the dystopian libertarian ideal of voting with money instead of one person, one vote. Obviously if the rich get more vote than the poor, then the rich will vote for even more wealth for themselves. It will undercut everything that Obama stands for, even if he wins.

  2. It will undercut everything that Obama stands for, even if he wins.
    I don’t know what you’re trying to say here. Are you saying that the system is nuts and should be changed? In that case, I totally agree and so does Obama; he, me, and I suspect you all support public financing. Are you saying that Obama is somehow stained for raising money like this? If so, that’s just absurd; anyone who’s running a half-serious campaign is going to run aggressive operations like this. To do otherwise is, unfortunately, suicidal.
    And the people who are donating to Obama are much poorer, on average, than those donating to Edwards or Hillary. His average donation size is less than half that of Hillary. Someone who’s getting $250 each from 100,000 people is going to be less of a tool of the rich than someone who’s getting $520 each from 50,000 people.

  3. Are you saying that Obama is somehow stained for raising money like this?
    I would say constrained rather than stained. It’s the American system; it doesn’t make him worse than anyone else. But it does mean that he or any candidate will enter office with a lot of strings attached. Probably so many that he or she won’t really be able to fix the system.

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