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November 25, 2008

The Myth Of Obama's Army Of Small Donors

Remember all those small donors that gave Obama cover to break his pledge to participate in the public financing program? Turns out, like much of what The One was selling, it was more spin than anything.

"It turns out that Barack Obama's donors may not have been quite as different as we had thought," says the Institute's study. "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 (CFI) 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 (FEC), 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."

...PEBO ultimately received about 80 percent more money from large donors (giving more than $1,000) than from small donors -- 47 percent of his total cash, compared with 56 percent for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in 2004, and 60 percent for both Bush and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

No word yet on if that includes all those donations from people like "JarackBoe BOamabiden" and "Della Ware".

Now what the study doesn't seem to get into is that average amount of individual donations. What the Obama people seemed to be very good at was getting people who may not donate $500 or $1,000 at a pop to pony up $50 or $75, 7 or 8 times over the course of the campaign.

So yes, a lot of people may have been donating small amounts repeatedly and not maxing out with $2,300 check once but the cumulative effect is the same. A lot of people who thought of themselves as 'small donors' (and were portrayed that way by Team Hope 'n Change) simply weren't.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:40 AM

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