Patterico's Pontifications

7/11/2008

Welcome Surprise in the GOP’s Future Concerning Obama’s Fundraising Numbers????

Filed under: General — WLS @ 7:19 pm



[Posted by WLS]

I know I’ve posted somewhere here about Obama’s heretofore overlooked declining fundraising numbers. I’m certain there are lots of explanations and rationalizations about why such has been the case, but the hard facts are that Obama’s monthly fundraising numbers popped just before and just after Iowa, peaking with a tremendous month in February, but they declined every month since — precipitously in May. Here they are:

January — $32 million

February — $55 million

March — $40 million

April — $31 million

May — $22 million.

I pointed out in an earlier post that what gets lost or overlooked in examining this decline is the fact that Obama defeated Clinton in the Iowa primary on January 5 – and his fundraising exploded in Jan. and Feb. as a result. But Rev. Wright first pops up on ABC on March 13, leading to Obama’s Philadelphia speed on race on March 18. That might have quelled the storm, but the Rev. reappears at the National Press Club on April 28.

Now track Obama’s fund raising numbers against those dates — at some point in April they must have gone in the tank.

Over at the next right.com, they’ve spotted another very interesting marker when it comes to Obama’s fundraising and his reporting thereof.

Obama’s campaign reported his impressive January total of $25 on Feb. 4 — one day before Super Tuesday. Just a little shot of adreneline for the shock troops heading off to the polls.

His unbelievable February total of $55 million — unprecedented in fundraising history — was reported on March 6, two days after he lost both Texas and Ohio to Hillary, and was in need of changing the topic on the campaign trail.

His March total of $40 million was announced on April 3 — just about the quickest his campaign has ever reported its numbers.

His April total of $31 million — disappointing by the standards which he had been setting — was held back by his campaign until May 20, which also happened to be the day of the Oregon and Kentucky primaries, so there was other news to cover.

His paltry May total of $21 million — he was actually outraised by McCain — was held back until June 20, the first time the campaign reported on a Friday.

Well, today is July 11, and Obama’s campaign has yet to release his June totals. Given his problems over the last couple weeks with policy reversals, if the numbers were so good they would provide a distraction or an opportunity to change the subject, I suspect they would have been out already.

I read an interesting observation from a commenter on another site about the potential for misunderstanding the ability and willingness of small dollar donors to make repeated contributions — it may just be that the small dollar contribution they have already made represents all they are willing/able to give. In other words, simply because someone gave him $200 back in January doesn’t mean that person is likely to give $200 again in July and $200 again in October — even if you don’t consider whether that person might have been discouraged by Obama’s recent policy reversals. The fact that the person is eligible to contribute more by virtue of the fact they haven’t reached the contribution limitation established by law doesn’t mean they will be able to make a further contribution when signaled to do so.

To the extent that Obama’s campaign has banked on its ability to draw more small dollar contributions from an army of small dollar contributors, it may have badly miscalculated.

— WLS

9 Responses to “Welcome Surprise in the GOP’s Future Concerning Obama’s Fundraising Numbers????”

  1. I also think that a large part of the Obama “excitement” is that he’s not Hillary. And now that Hillary is out of the race, that reason for enthusiasm is gone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. I would add that back in February, Obama was still largely unknown as a candidate, and as aspects of his choices and associations became known, the enthusiasm for his leadership as President declined.

    Paul (ae2fbe)

  3. It’s too early come to any conclusions yet, dont you think, WLS? Obama has always been known for pulling surprises like this. What if the reason he has not announced it is because he is bidding for the appropriate time. Maybe during a crisis. Never underrate Obama. That was the same mistake Hillary made and paid dearly for it.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  4. Obama can literally get as much money as he wants. Billions from the sheiks and Chinese alone. If he’s showing less than expected funds, it’s because they’ve calculated that it would be counterproductive to show huge cash inflows at this time.

    I also don’t know why Obama needs money. Won’t it just go to his handlers in the media? It’s all so much bs. The money/influence will be there whether or not it shows up on the paper.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  5. The New York Observer says the Wall Street Journal has reported that the Obama campaign expects June 2008 fundraising to exceed $30M. (I can’t find the WSJ report online but not all WSJ articles are available online.)

    However, TPM quotes the Obama campaign as saying the WSJ report is “way off the mark.”

    DRJ (cfa65f)

  6. The money pays for staff and advertising, not much else.

    I’m not sure where you live j curtis — and I’m not asking you to disclose — but I spent a couple weeks in norther Nevada in early January. That’s the first time I’ve ever been in a primary state that was heavily contested. I think the Nevada caucus was on January 19. In the couple weeks I was there after New Years, the Obama and Clinton campaign ads on radio and TV played over and over and over. Every commercial break in a television program had an ad from at least one of them, and often times each had a 30 second spot. This was on every TV station and nearly every radio station I listened to.

    Obama’s campaign overhead on a monthly basis — the things like office rent, equipment, personnel, coffee, etc., runs about $10 million a month higher than McCain’s.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  7. More here from TPM, including a statement that Obama has to average $50M a month to get the warchest he claims he needs for the general.

    DRJ (cfa65f)

  8. DRJ — if that number is any where near accurate, its a HUGE blow to their plans.

    Its been variously reported that the campaign wants to raise and spend $250-300 million in their 50 state strategy. I read yesterday that Obama’s campaign overhead right now — given that he’s putting paid staff in places like Texas, Alaska, and Mondana — is $10 million A MONTH higher than McCain’s. He had 700 paid staffers at the end of the primary season, when McCain had only 100.

    Starting in June, they have only 5 months to raise that money — June, July, August, Sept. and October. They needed to average $50 million a month to reach only the $250 million goal. If June was only $30 million, they now have only 4 months to raise $220 million, so the pace now is $55 million a month. God help them if they miss the mark in July — and this month has been anything but smooth for him, especially with his left-wing base.

    And it gets harder for a candidate to be involved in raising money as the election gets closer. The advantage of taking public financing for the general is the candidate doesn’t have to raise money for himself, and when the candidate does attend a fundraiser breakfast or dinner in September and October, the money raised usually goes to various state and local party committees to fund the ground-game GOTV efforts.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  9. I look at multiple factors.

    The PUMA supporters of Hillary haven’t given up. There are stories out their of reluctance by Hillary donors to fund Obama.

    A lot of people are having buyers remorse over Obama since he first came on the scene.

    I look for a major credentials fight in Denver over the FL and MI voters plus there were four other states listed in the Nelson vs Dean lawsuit from Fl that also violated their window the DNC mandated with zero punishment on those states.

    Don’t count Hillary dead yet since a credential fight combined with none of the delegates being locked in to a mandatory vote.

    You can bet there is a lot of back room movement going on from the Clinton camp leading up to the convention.

    As to the fund raising number timing from the Obama camp, for him to have Axelrod as a savvy manager and not maximize their effect would be the only oddity.

    daytrader (ea6549)


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