Skip to comments.Obama’s Small Donor Juggernaut More Myth than Reality, Report Shows
Posted on 11/26/2008 6:35:46 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
(CNSNews.com) It was widely reported that Barack Obamas historic presidential win was fueled by an army of small donors, often contributing $5 and $10, at an unheard of rate in American history, but a recent study shows that Obamas small donor base and possibly reports of unparalleled youth-voter turnout was more myth than reality.
The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) study says that 26 percent of donors to Obamas presidential campaign gave $200 or less, the definition of a small donation. Thats compared to 25 percent for President George W. Bushs 2004 reelection campaign.
Most of the contributions to Obama were from repeat donors or bundled donations, the CFI report says.
The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obamas finances, said CFI Executive Director Michael J. Malbin. The reality of Obamas fundraising was impressive, but the reality does not match the myth.
The study shows that Obama received 80 percent more from large donors, defined as giving $1,000 or more, than from small donors. Meanwhile, 47 percent of his total contributions came from large donors, compared to 60 percent for his Republican opponent John McCain.
In 2004, Bush raised 60 percent of his campaign funds in large donations, while his Democratic opponent Sen. John Kerry raised 56 percent in large donations.
News reports that seemingly overstated the power of small donations in Obamas campaign are similar to those stories that reported young voters ages 18 to 29 mobilized in droves as never before to elect Obama as president.
However, the percentage of voters falling into this age category did not soar. There were 17 percent in that age category casting a ballot in 2004 compared to 18 percent in 2008, according to exit polling data from Edison Media Research/Mitofsky International.
The swing occurred in the margin of young people voting for the Democratic ticket, as Kerry beat Bush by nine points among young voters in 2004 while Obama trounced McCain by 34 points in that category, according to the exit polling data. A Fox News exit poll showed similar results.
All this publicity about droves of young people that were sending him small contributions and it was a revolution in campaign finance was all a smokescreen to cover the fact that he was rejecting public funding, having said he would accept it, and he was taking large major contributions hand-over-fist, author and former campaign consultant Dick Morris told CNSNews.com.
In total, Obamas presidential campaign raised $452.8 million compared to McCain who raised $204.4 million.
McCain was constrained by the same public financing system used by both candidates in the 2004 race, which Obama opted out of this year allowing him to raise an unlimited amount. In 2004, Bush raised $256 million compared to Kerrys $215.9 million.
Voter turnout was only about 4 million higher, while as from 00 to 04 it grew by 20 million, Morris said. The big change was that the black percentage rose from 11 to 13. But other than that, it was essentially the same electorate.
Post-election is a time to put things in context, said Larry Sabato, director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
Obama did clean up with small donations, but he did even better with big donations, Sabato told CNSNews.com. Small contributions rolled in, because there was more money overall. Its like the other comparison. There were more young voters, but there were a lot of people voting.
However, Sabato warned that exit polling data are not precise. Based anecdotally on the campus activism he saw for Obama, Sabato thinks the youth vote might require further research.
I was bowled over by the degree of activism. Often the non-college population is not factored in, Sabato said. I question whether they were as involved, and if that is what brought those numbers if they were indeed down.
The CFI study also showed that mid-range contributions to Obamas campaign surpassed but were still quite comparable to other recent presidential candidates. Obama raised 27 percent of his money from people whose contributions were between $201 and $999.
McCain raised 20 percent from similar donations. In 2004, Kerry raised 24 percent of his donations in the mid-range category, while Bush raised 13 percent.
The CFI report concludes by not dismissing the sums Obama raised. The fact is that Obamas financial juggernaut broke records at all contributions levels. The reality does not match the myth, but reality itself was impressive.
Obama himself, as a leader, is mythical. It awaits to be seen what he does when reality hits on his watch.
its funny how myth describes Zero himself.
Probably from Islamo-Fascist nations, China, and Russia.
Gee, no kidding. Some of us began to point this myth out a year ago.
No audit, no evidence, no challenge, no McCain-Feingold, going no where....
“Most of the contributions to Obama were from repeat donors or bundled donations”
Help me with this.
Does this refer to the mega multiple $200 repeaters that were never substantiated as being legal? And the bundled donations... were these comprised of illegal funds siphoned in by soros et al? I bet if CFI had some real info, this analysis would be clearer.
I kinda respect morris but he’s very careful to present things in a way that keeps him in good graces with the main stream but still makes him sound like the ultimate pundit. Fact is he’s missed calls all through this cycle. He is negligent in NOT pointing out that 98% of blacks voted for Obamo whereas the white vote was 54% McCain and 46% Obamo. So one has to conclude blacks are far more racist than whites. Morris won’t say that even though he’s well aware of the numbers - from a PC point of view it would make him sound “biased”
It’d be nice to have honest Non-PC reporting - as in complete disclosure - on Fox too.
Gee. I can't understand why young voters wouldn't prefer to have a 72-year-old somewhat sickly nasal-voiced candidate who is so enamored of the 1950s that he brags he can't use email.....
In my neck of the woods, the young virile and articulate proud Republicans won.... and the oldsters who ran because it was "their turn" all lost.
1996.... 2008 .... what will it take to wake up the majority of Republican voters who for some inexplicable reason selected McCain as the FACE of the GOP.
War hero's are great, but they don't necessarily make good leaders. In fact, they usually don't.
Oh, he’s “mythical” alrighty - and the American people have made an awful myth-take...
What? The Messiah and his toady, ass-kissing media lied to the American people? Say it isn’t so! Tell me that they haven’t perpetrated one of the greatest election frauds on the American people in our history.
Go ahead and tell me, I dare you!
When will we ever learn?
This info was well-known as early as August. So was the info about the tens of millions of foreign donations. Yet the MSM censored it from the airways. McCain’s people mentioned it repeatedly, but those statements were unreported.
Both he and Michelle have demonstrated their generosity to others in the past.
Ask his brother in Kenya.
99% of Hussein is myth. The 1% reality is ignored by the LameStream Media.