Tags: Fundraising

Hillary’s DNC Fundraising E-Mail Pledges to Help Democratic Women, Mentions Iowa Senate Race


Hillary Clinton has attached her name to a women-focused fundraising e-mail from the Democratic National Committee:

Democrats across our country are fighting for hard-working American families to have a fair shot at the American dream.

Strong Democratic women like Alison Lundergan Grimes, Michelle Nunn, and Natalie Tennant give me hope. They’re running to join great leaders like Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, and Jeanne Shaheen in the United States Senate, where they will stand up for our values and our future.

I take hope from all our terrific Democratic women running for governor, including Mary Burke, Martha Coakley, Wendy Davis, Maggie Hassan, and Gina Raimondo. You can count on them to always put our families first.

These women can win — but not without your help, [E-MAIL RECIPIENT NAME HERE].

Apparently you didn’t need a shot at winning to get mentioned in the e-mail. Among the senatorial candidates, Grimes is down in the RealClearPolitics average by 3 points (but has led only one of the past 12 polls) in Kentucky, Nunn is down 2.7 points (but hasn’t lead any of the past nine polls) in Georgia, and Tennant is down by 17 points in West Virginia. Hagan is ahead by 2.4 points in North Carolina, Landrieu trails runoff polling by 5.6 points in Louisiana, and Shaheen leads by 6.5 points in New Hampshire.

Burke trails by half a percentage point in Wisconsin, Coakley leads by 1.6 points in Massachusetts, Hassan leads by 11.3 points in New Hampshire, and Raimondo leads by 4 points in Rhode Island.

Of course, Wendy Davis trails by 11.3 points in Texas, but perhaps that wheelchair ad is just the magic wand she’s needed.

The e-mail suggests that the funds will only be going to certain candidates:

With your help, we’ll keep building an organization that can go door-to-door and have meaningful conversations with voters about the issues that matter most to them. We can cut through the fog of negative ads on TV in Kentucky, North Carolina, or Iowa.

So DNC e-mail list is being asked to send money to help “strong Democratic women” . . . which apparently includes Bruce Braley, running against Republican Joni Ernst in Iowa’s Senate race.

Tags: Wendy Davis , Hillary Clinton , DNC , Fundraising

A Not-So-Mysterious Silence About Obama’s Fundraising


James Oliphant of National Journal asks, “Why Won’t Democrats Talk About Obama’s Fundraising?”

Good for him for asking, and there’s a lot of reporting in his article, but the answer is pretty simple. Acknowledging that Obama “headlined a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser at the swank Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington on behalf of the Democratic Party’s Senate campaign arm” disrupts the narrative of a plucky, underfunded group of noble community activists taking on the little guy in the top hat from the “Monopoly” game.

Professional Democrats — officeholders and their staff — rely on these big-dollar fundraisers for their livelihood. The non-professional Democrats care about the issue of campaign finance only when it can be used to reinforce the belief that their GOP opponents are rich, powerful, corrupt and selfish. They don’t care about Mike Bloomberg spending his fortune to promote gun control or Tom Steyer spending his fortune to promote climate-change causes. It’s only the other guy’s big money that is corrupting.

And the Holy Grail of our public policy debates is “a clean narrative.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising

Organizing for Action: Cough It Up, Tightwad.


No NSA records were used in the research for this fundraising message; it just feels that way. Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, wants you to know he and his staff have been checking up on you:

I just got a list of everyone who’s pitching in to build Organizing for Action — and it looks like you’re not part of it.

Here’s the record we have for this exact email address:

    — Organizing for Action member: No
    — Suggested donation today: $5

So here I am, on the Sunday morning of the biggest deadline we’ve faced as a young organization, and I’m asking you, earnestly and directly:

Please chip in $5 or more to build OFA today:

We have so many big fights we want to take on, and what we do depends on the resources we have at midnight tonight.

I hope you’ll help.



Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

The e-mail’s subject line: “Is this a mistake?”

“Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.” — President Barack Obama, April 2009.

Tags: Barack Obama , Organizing for Action , Fundraising

Obama Message on Funds: ‘This Is Potentially Devastating.’


This is the latest fundraising message from the Obama campaign. The subject line is, “This is potentially devastating” and the tone of . . . fear is surprising.

[Name on e-mail list]–

We got outraised last month, and not by a little bit.

Part Two of getting outraised is getting outspent. That translates into a potentially devastating sweep of negative, misleading messaging that’s going to flood the airwaves in swing states — over and over and over — until November 6th. It’s already started, and it’s only July.

Will you make a donation of $5 or more to help close this gap?

How this election plays out will define our democracy: Can super PACs and hundreds of millions of dollars from Republicans and the Romney campaign — through the brute force of negative advertising alone — drown out millions of voices?

Or can the politics of inclusivity — asking supporters to chip in $5, $10, $25 at a time — keep the margin close enough to win?

Please donate $5 or more today to close the gap:



Julianna Smoot

Deputy Campaign Manager

Obama for America

Come on, Obama donors. Smoot’s $4,977.45-per-pay-period salary isn’t going to pay itself.

Dig in, donors, because the Obama campaign needs its own “sweep of negative, misleading messaging that’s going to flood the airwaves in swing states”!

And don’t you love how the message presumes that there aren’t “millions of voices” opposed to the president as well?

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising

New York Fundraisers, Not Job Creation, Are In Vogue This Season


Some days, the Obama campaign makes the job of the RNC all too easy – like when they release a campaign video of Vogue’s Anna Wintour, inviting folks to a fundraiser in New York City, on a day terrible jobs news is released:

This was discussed on Fox News Sunday this weekend:

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “Here’s another blunder that you may not have seen. On the day, Friday, when all of the bad economic news came out, the Obama campaign decided that was the day to release a video of Anna Wintour. If you don’t know her, she is the editor of a fashion magazine, Vogue. Saying to people contribute to the Obama campaign and you can come to a big exclusive dinner in New York that Sarah Jessica Parker and I are hosting. Take a look at this.” 

Vogue’s Anna Wintour: “Sarah Jessica and I both have our own reasons for supporting President Obama, and we want to hear yours. So please join us, but just don’t be late.” 

Wallace: “Yes, don’t be late. And this is on the day when we find out that the economy created only 69,000 jobs. First of all, do you subscribe to Chip’s idea that the campaign is off to a shaky start, and if so, how big a deal.” Fox News’

Juan Williams: “By the way, that was hilarious. That looks like a parody. It looked like the Romney campaign planted Dr. Evil in the house of Obama and he said, ‘you know on the day the grim job numbers come out let’s have someone who reeks of ornamental excess announce that the peasants can have a place at the table.’ It’s just unbelievable. I mean, so you know, just a mistake.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising , the RNC

Mitt Romney, Barack Obama’s Fundraising Equal?


I think the influence of money in politics is often overstated – as I’ve written before, “if fundraising was all it took to run a successful campaign, we would have had President Perot, President Forbes, President Gramm…” and that was in the days of the Hillary Spot, when it was so obvious that Hillary Clinton’s financial advantages would make her the Democrats’ nominee 2008.

But Republicans have to see this news and feel a little reassured:

Here’s a scary thought for Democrats: It’s entirely possible that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee will outraise President Obama and the Democratic National Committee in the seven-month sprint to the general election.

In April, the first month in which Romney was untethered by concerns about the primary fight and in which he and the RNC linked up efforts, their combined haul was just north of $40 million — almost the exact amount the president and the DNC gathered in that time frame.

What’s abundantly clear is that Obama won’t have the massive fundraising gap over Romney that he enjoyed in the 2008 contest against Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

In that race, Obama raised an astonishing $771 million while McCain brought in $239 million — a total that included roughly $85 million in public financing funds for the general election. (Obama opted out of public financing.) For you non-math majors out there, that means Obama collected (and spent) three times as much money as McCain, a huge gap that almost certainly put the Democrat over the top in places such as Indiana and North Carolina and cushioned his margins in other swing states such as Florida and Ohio.

There is a zero percent chance that Romney will follow McCain’s lead and take public financing. And even though he has spent most of this election cycle running in a competitive and splintered GOP primary, Romney raised almost $100 million through April.

Again, lack of money wasn’t what cost McCain the election. But being outspent three-to-one certainly didn’t help.

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising , Mitt Romney

Obama, the King of Hedge-Fund Employee Donations


Somebody tell the kids at Occupy Wall Street:

Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data . . .  As a result, Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data.

Media narratives are not designed to illuminate; they are designed to obscure.

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising , Mitt Romney

The President’s Relentless Fundraising Pace Isn’t Really About the Money.


Over in Foreign Policy, Sunil Khilnani, a professor of politics and director of the King’s India Institute at King’s College London, argues that the problem with the U.S. government today is the four-year term of the presidency, and that Americans would be better off with a president limited to a single, six-year term. He repeatedly cites the distraction of fundraising and the reelection campaign:

Those routines no sooner deliver a new leader into office than he is required immediately to begin a new campaign for reelection. In an age of heightened media scrutiny, where any mistake has the potential to go viral and can in hours destroy political ambitions, timidity and trimming invariably become the order of the day for even the most visionary leaders. One can enter office clear-eyed about how to tackle America’s irrational energy consumption or its massive debt overhang, but policy fogs up fast when one is trying to keep potential funders and voters happy. So U.S. presidents spend their days waking to the prospect of bland compromise and turn in having abjectly sold out. . . . Let them, then, have one long shot at writing themselves into the history books — and at altering their country’s path. Give them six years to focus on the job in hand, rather than on dialing for dollars and desperately avoiding anything that might alienate voters.

There are a couple of problems with this analysis. For starters, one would think that presidents would be more successful in their second terms, once they’re liberated from the fear of facing the voters again. Yet there’s quite a bit of talk about a “Second Term Curse.” The electorate almost always exhibits a certain amount of buyer’s remorse.  By the sixth year of a presidency, the president’s party is usually (although not always) punished in the midterm elections. The final two years of most presidencies are exhausted “lame duck” years. Then there are the scandals: Past presidential second terms have featured Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Lewinsky scandal, Abramoff, and the financial meltdown.

But more importantly, Khilnani sees a relentless fundraising schedule as a de facto requirement of the job, when it is in fact a choice. If you’re an incumbent president, you’re not going to have a difficult time raising money. In fact, the last major-party candidate to have any serious issue with money was Bob Dole in 1996:

These flaws combined to sabotage the effort back in the spring, when Clinton, the Democrats and labor unions were pummeling Dole with negative ads. Dole failed to fire back because his campaign funds were depleted by a costly series of primaries that Clinton didn’t have to fight… It was the Dole campaign’s miscalculation to assume that it would have time to wage a television war with Clinton once the Republican convention in August had ended and $72 million in public money became available.

Since then, Bush, Gore, Kerry, Obama, McCain — all of them have had sufficient money to get their message out; their victories and defeats cannot really be attributed to insufficient donations.

Which brings us to Obama, who has done 40 fundraisers since declaring his reelection bid, who has raised $89 million and who has $61 million in cash on hand; when you throw in his DNC fundraisers, Obama has raised $155 million. Of course, he’s an incumbent president. He never has to worry about getting his message out; television cameras follow him wherever he goes. Taxpayers pick up the tab for half of his transportation expenses when he flies Air Force One for a trip that includes fundraisers and “officially non-campaign” speeches on college campuses. Barack Obama could decide he’s not raising another dime for his campaign and he still wouldn’t have a problem in terms of campaign cash.

Obama’s relentless fundraising schedule is not, in fact, about the money. It is about something else — increasingly, the sense that this is one of the few venues where Obama gets to feel the relentless admiration and euphoric adoration that he experienced throughout 2007 and 2008.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bob Dole , Fundraising

Just Imagine How Much He Would Raise if More Folks Were Jobless!


Higher unemployment translates into higher donations to the Obama 2012 campaign. Who says his economic policies aren’t achieving their goals?

An Associated Press analysis of Obama’s fundraising since April found his supporters opened their wallets more often this election cycle in places with the worst unemployment rates. That’s compared with the same period four years ago, just months before the country was thrust into a major recession . . .  Among Obama’s supporters, however, there has been an uptick in donations from Democratic- and Republican-leaning counties, even as more than 1 in 10 people are out of work in those places. In the Detroit area, where unemployment has exceeded 14 percent, supporters wrote hundreds of more checks — albeit in smaller amounts when adjusting for inflation — to Obama’s campaign than the same period in 2007.


By the way, how many years of consecutive high unemployment and low growth are required before a president has to stop bragging that he “prevented another great depression”?

Tags: Barack Obama , Fundraising , Unemployment

Obama Campaign: We Fell Behind on Fundraising Last Month


Last month, some folks scoffed when I wrote this:

To match his $750 million from the 2008 cycle, Obama would need to average $107 million for seven quarters. Obviously, it is possible that Obama can make up ground in the next few quarters. But to hit that hyped $1 billion number, Obama would need to raise a bit more than $142 million per quarter. As impressive as the $86 million figure is, it’s well below those markers.

They said that because Obama raised more in his later quarters in the 2008 cycle than he did in the earlier quarters, the same pattern was likely to emerge in the 2012 election cycle, and he would, indeed, make up ground.

Indeed, Obama could. But as I noted, “the first-quarter efforts collect the lowest-hanging fruit, the folks who were most eager to donate and just needed a formal campaign. Almost every campaign has some quarter that raises less than the previous one: The Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign raised less in their third quarter of fundraising than in their second, and less in their fifth than in their fourth. In 2008, Obama raised $59 million in his second quarter and then $21 million in his third quarter. He raised $133 million in his fifth quarter and then $104 million in his sixth quarter. Someone will probably also argue that Obama is doing much better than in the 2008 cycle, because his $86 million in his first quarter this time is way more than the $26 million that he raised in his first quarter last time. This, of course, makes perfect sense if you think the fundraising apparatus and environment of an incumbent president of the United States with a heavy fundraising schedule is on par with a relatively lesser-known long-shot junior senator from Illinois with a funny name.”

I mention all of this because the word is this morning that Obama’s second quarter total… is probably going to be lower:

President Barack Obama’s campaign expects to raise tens of millions of dollars less this summer than it did in the spring because negotiations over the nation’s debt limit forced Obama to cancel several fundraisers.

Obama’s campaign said Wednesday it canceled or postponed 10 fundraisers involving the president, Vice President Joe Biden and White House chief of staff Bill Daley in the past month because of the debt talks, scrubbing events in California, New York and elsewhere.

… “We’re going to raise significantly less in the third quarter than we did in the second quarter,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager. “We will not be able to replace all of these events just because of his busy schedule. We always knew that he had his job and we had to do this around his schedule, and the truth is we just have to deal with canceling a month’s worth of events.”

But let’s face it, the past month of effort has been worth it for the president, because he began July with a 47.3/46.4 split on job approval/disapproval in the RealClearPolitics average and now he’s at a 45/49.3 split. Oh, wait, that’s a steady decrease. No wonder Obama prefers to spend more time doing fundraisers.

Tags: 2012 , Barack Obama , Fundraising

Alternative Headline: Obama 2012 Fundraising Behind 2008 Pace


You’ll recall that at the end of last month, I had doubts that Obama’s fundraising would be as bad as some predicted.

From the June 30 Morning Jolt:

Campaign officials revealed during the last week that they have set a target of raising $60 million for the quarter from at least 450,000 donors. But even $60 million would not seem to be a very ambitious goal for Obama. He raised the same amount during the second quarter of 2007, just after he announced his 2008 campaign.

To match the $750 million or so he raised in 2008, one would expect Obama to average closer to $100 million per quarter for the next seven quarters, no? And to meet the much-hyped $1 billion number, Obama would have to perform well beyond that.

Part of me always looks warily at these sorts of leading indicators, but we will know fairly soon if there’s a reason that the Obama team is emphasizing that they don’t measure their capability to successfully raise money by that traditional metric of money raised.

Today the number is $86 million, an impressive sum by any measure. But it’s worth remembering, as Nathan Wurtzel notes, that Obama’s total includes fundraising he did for the Democratic National Committee. By comparison, the GOP candidates’ totals are amounts raised solely for their campaign.

To offer a more accurate comparison, you would have to toss in the totals for the RNC, which raised $6 million in April and $6 million in May. The RNC’s June total is not yet known.


Is Obama ahead in fundraising? Yes, and probably by quite a bit. But the comparison is not Obama and the DNC’s $86 million against Romney’s $18.3 million. The comparison is Obama and the DNC’s $86 million against Romney [or your preferred candidate] + $12 million for the RNC in April and May + the RNC’s June total.

[Some would argue a better comparison is to compare Obama's total to all of the GOP candidates' totals combined, roughly $35 million.]

Will Obama still be comfortably ahead? Of course. He probably should be, considering how he’s an incumbent president who has hit party fundraisers at a fast and furious pace in the past three months.

But again, to match his $750 million from the 2008 cycle, Obama would need to average $107 million for seven quarters. Obviously, it is possible that Obama can make up ground in the next few quarters. But to hit that hyped $1 billion number, Obama would need to raise a bit more than $142 million per quarter. As impressive as the $86 million figure is, it’s well below those markers.

And that’s not even getting into the millions that will be spent by outside groups…

UPDATE: Obama’s fundraising total for just his campaign: $47 million. So he has raised about two and a half times what Romney raised.

Note that at this point in 2003, George W. Bush had raised $49.5 million, or about $58.5 million in today’s money $35 million, or about $41.3 million. (I made an error in using Bush’s following quarter’s figure; Bush raised the $49.5 million from July to September of 2003.)

But that’s really not a fair comparison, and I hope Democrats will agree that Bush’s fundraising occurred during a time of relative economic prosperity, while Obama has been forced to raise cash in an economy where almost every American is worse off than they were three years ago, and has much less money to donate to their preferred cause.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Obama campaign declares 98 percent of their donations were for $250 or less, and that the average was $69.

Note that under FEC rules, the Obama campaign is not required to collect information on donors of less than $200; The commission asks campaigns to report any donor whose cumulative contributions have exceeded $200.

Tags: Barack Obama , DNC , Fundraising , Mitt Romney , RNC

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