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Tilting at Windmills

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February 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

FUNDRAISING NEWS....Until today, I wasn't quite sure how impressive Barack Obama's $32 million fundraising haul in January really was. After all, maybe Hillary raised $33 million. But no. According to Terry McAuliffe, she raised about $13 million. Wow.

Kevin Drum 11:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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And Howard Dean raised the most money when he was running, how did that turn out?

Posted by: * on February 5, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Wonderful news Kevin. This makes it unnecessary for Obama to actually win any states today. Even if he loses, he still has enough money to continue on and defeat Hillary by winning the remaining states. Of course, Hillary can get more money from her supporters by crying on command again. *Snicker*

Posted by: Al on February 5, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

And what about Ron Paul? He raises relatively a lot of money coming from very few places. It reminds one of guys like David Duke and Jacques Le Pen.

Posted by: Swan on February 5, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Which is right?

Obama hauled in 237% more dollars than Hillary did in January.

or

Hillary was only able to haul in 42% of Obama's funds in January.

32 million dollars towards a campaign that is telling us the truth about 2 trillion wasted dollars versus 13.5 million dollars towards a campaign that voted for same wastage is a no- brainer.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 5, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

HRC's biggest fundraising problem is that she has tapped out a high percentage of her donors - they have already given the maximum while Obama not only raised more -but he got a lot of it from small donations - with a close result today - he can go back to them and ask them to give more to put him over the top - I know I will.

HRC's relied on name recognition and the deep pockets of a few to get her to where she is today. Obama has relied on his ability to persuade voters that "Yes We Can" together change the status quo in the way our country is governed and the support of many small donors which is more representative of how we want our politicians to win. And will be the reason that he did.

Posted by: C.B. on February 5, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Its fascinating that Obama was able to turn his second place (and unexpectedly large, according to the polls) finish in New Hampshire into a boost for his campaign. His campaign speech at the end of primary night may have had a lot to do with that (long before the 'yes we can' video). Certainly his finish in South Carolina was a significant boost (and Clinton's finish in Florida seems to have had no effect whatsoever).

Posted by: sdh on February 5, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Money isn't everything.

Posted by: AJ on February 5, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

HRC's relied on name recognition and the deep pockets of a few to get her to where she is today. Obama has relied on his ability to persuade voters that "Yes We Can" together change the status quo in the way our country is governed and the support of many small donors which is more representative of how we want our politicians to win.

Well, I think what this really says is that Obama supporters are, on average, a lot more affluent than Clinton's. I mean, if the tight national opinion polls are to be believed, they possess comparable numbers of supporters. But a well educated, Obama supporting business consultant or lawyer is much more likely to send his favored candidate $500 than a Clinton-supporting 86 year old widow on Social Security. What this also demonstrates is that campaign contribution restrictions favor candidates with appeal to affluent voters, because their opponents can't make up for this advantage by taking large checks from a small number of wealthy supporters. I'm not saying this effect is necessarily a bad thing, mind you. There are obviously advantages to a system that makes it more difficult for very rich people to curry favor with elected officials. But it would be ironic if one of the effects of CFR is to make it more difficult for candidates with downscale bases to win elections.

Posted by: Jasper on February 5, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

The real question is, given the fight ahead, who's ahead in cash on hand.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton outraised Obama in the 4th Q, and according to www.opensecrets.org Obama has spent more and had less cash on hand than she did at the end of the 4th Q. When all is said and done, I don't think there's much difference, although the trend for Obama is a little eye-popping.

What strikes me more than anything is the obscene amounts of money it takes to elect a president - when I think of all the areas of need we have, it just makes me a little sick.

Posted by: Anne on February 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think if you look at the list of donations to Obama you see that most are well under $100.00 - not exactly "affluent" supporters. Over 250,000 people donated in January alone with alot of $25.00 donations too. Obama's support is wide and if need be we can dig deeper.

Posted by: C.B. on February 5, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

One must admire the exuberance and generosity of Obama's supporters. The contribution numbers are amazing and indicate Sen. Obama may win the nomination and then the presidency. The desire to belong to such a dynamic group and become a member of the likely winning team is natural. Will there be a hangover when little change takes place or will Obama's rhetoric be enough to sustain them through the 2012 election?

Posted by: Brojo on February 5, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Anne:

But also note that Clinton had $5MM in debt versus $800M for Obama, so they were essentially tied in cash on hand at the end of the quarter. Just know that, in either case, that cash was spent within the first two weeks. And my guess, Clinton is essentially broke after today. She'll need to replenish those coffers (hence the low dollar fundraiser she did in San Francisco last week). It will be interesting to see where she finds the money going forward, because she's going to need it.

Posted by: Keith on February 5, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Comparisons to Dean and Paul are spurious.

Dean raised a lot of money and generated a lot of interest but when it came time to vote, it wasn't there. Obviously not the case with Obama. Paul has been a fringe vote since the get-go. Yeah, he's raised a lot of money. From where? How has that translated into votes? It hasn't.

Posted by: Quinn on February 5, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

And the righties can't raise enough money for lunch ha.

Posted by: john john on February 5, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's because people know that if Hillary wins, the Dems lose in November, and we can say bye bye to the Supreme Court.

It's so serious that people are putting real money down. Believe it.

Vote for Hillary and lose.

Posted by: Frank on February 5, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

But a well educated, Obama supporting business consultant or lawyer is much more likely to send his favored candidate $500 than a Clinton-supporting 86 year old widow on Social Security.

My mom's 87 years old, on Scoial Security, and is backing Obama all the way.

Posted by: Vincent on February 5, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

That will barely cover Bill's trips to McDonalds!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 5, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

...and Hillary outraised Obama in the 4th quarter 2007.

To suggest that Obama's numbers are all that impressive is to forget the fact that his big win in Iowa opened the pockets of a lot of donors, especially big money donors who didn't want to be the last one on the bandwagon in case Obama won the nomination. In other words, Obama's January numbers don't reflect much more than what you'd expect for any candidate who won in Iowa....

Posted by: p_lukasiak on February 5, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Guys make sure you check out the article "The Intoxication of Inspiration" on the blogzine SAVAGE POLITICS (not related to Mike Savage) at www.savagepolitics.com. It is awesome......everyone should read it before voting.

Posted by: Elsy on February 5, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Biggest fundraising day was the day after he lost New Hampshire.

Posted by: Keith on February 5, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

This discussion is really silly. People arguing that Obama's money in January came from wealthy contributors who fear getting left behind are just plane false and misinformed. Read this washington post article: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/02/01/obama_sets_new_online_record.html

Over $25 million of his $32 million haul in January were donations of $100 or less. Over $11 million were donations of $25 or less, and more than 10,000 people gave between $5 and $10 to his campaign in January.

This is the most amazing (and revolutionary, as far as campaigns go) part about Obama's candidacy. He has kept pace (and now out-raised) a former first lady and former president, who happen to have much of the establishment behind them, and he's done it by motivating people like myself, who never before considered making a donation to a campaign, to contribute in any way we can. I don't really know how you Obama-haters out there can deny the obvious excitement that he creates in our country, and how great this is for our nation's future.

Posted by: James on February 5, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Huckabee is being projected as the GOP winner in West Virginia. A bit of a shock there.

Posted by: Vincent on February 5, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Keith: "Biggest fundraising day was the day after he lost New Hampshire."

Demagogy does have its appeal.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK
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