Monday, November 24, 2008

THE OBAMA DONOR MYTH

Campaign Finance Institute - It turns out that Barack Obama's donors may not have been quite as different as we had thought. Throughout the election season, this organization and others have been reporting that Obama received about half of his discrete contributions in amounts of $200 or less. The Campaign Finance Institute noted in past releases that donations are not the same as donors, since many people give more than once. After a more thorough analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission, it has become clear that repeaters and large donors were even more important for Obama than we or other analysts had fully appreciated. "The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obama's finances," said CFI's executive director Michael J. Malbin. "The reality of Obama's fundraising was impressive, but the reality does not match the myth." Although an unusually high percentage (49%) of Obama's funds came in discrete contributions of $200 or less, only 24% of his funds through October 15 came from donors whose total contributions aggregated to $200 or less. Obama's 26% compares to 25% for George W. Bush in 2004, 20% for John Kerry in 2004, 21% for John McCain in 2008, 13% for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and 38% for Howard Dean in 2004.

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