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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

A Cool $32 Million

This morning, on a call with the nation’s political reporters, the Obama campaign said that, once again, the senator had managed to raise a ridiculous sum of money. This time, it was $32 million, every cent of it collected in January — in 30 days besting the campaign’s previous 3-month record.
Just in the year 2008, Obama’s campaign has added 170,000 new donors. Since he began his presidential bid last year, he’s seen 650,000 people give money to his campaign. Even when Howard Dean was breaking fundraising records four years ago, his campaign managed to pull just 250,000 donors. The size of the Obama donor base just dwarfs anything else in history.
It’s also worth pointing out once again that the vast majority of these donations are well below the maximum $2,300 contribution limit. Obama himself likes to tell the story of an envelope from a voter that came with a check for $3.01 and a Bible verse. For the most part, his donors are ordinary people, and their small contributions often mean they can contribute more in the future.
Of course, getting people to buy into the Obama campaign and contribute money has never been his problem. As he did in Iowa and South Carolina — and failed to do in New Hampshire and Nevada — Obama has to both get people to the polls and encourage them to vote for him.
Already, Obama has advertising on the air in all but two of the Feb. 5 states. On the call today, the campaign announced that they would use this new cash to begin showing ads in Louisiana, Washington, Nebraska, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C — all states with primaries after February 5th.
No matter what happens on Super Tuesday, the strength of this haul will give Barack Obama the resources to keep fighting for delegates. But even if he loses the nomination, his fundraising from small donors (and for that matter, Hillary Clinton’s, which is less dramatic but still enormous by historical standards) will provide a model for Democrats in the general election and beyond.
UPCATEGORY: Democratic Strategist

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