According to calculations done by the Center for Responsive Politics, in March 113 Clinton donors switched their financial support to Barack Obama. These donors had each given Clinton the maximum $2,300 individual contribution, but with the writing being on the wall, they decided that electing a Democratic president this fall is more important that standing by Hillary Clinton.
As evidence of how much this race had shifted, only 26 Obama supporters donated to Hillary Clinton. Even before John Edwards endorsed Obama, 955 of his supporters had donated to his campaign. Only 395 of Edwards’s supporters donated to Clinton, and 26 people donated to both campaigns. While this is far from rush of Clinton donors to Obama, these people are the big fish. They are also the most committed supporters who are likely not only to donate the max on their own, but to raise money for the campaign through their connections.
The April fundraising numbers were due in to the FEC last night, but what we know so far is that Barack Obama raised $37 million, Hillary Clinton raised $22 million and John McCain $18 million. Ten of Clinton’s $22 million came in the 24 hours after she won Pennsylvania. That means that she was only able to raise $12 million for the rest of the month, while Obama had a slow month, but raised over $1 million a day. April was McCain’s best month of the entire campaign, but Obama still doubled him up.
Barack Obama’s ability to raise money without solely relying on the traditional fundraising methods is nothing short of amazing. Future candidates will study Obama’s success, especially with raising money on the Internet, and try to emulate it. The problem they will face is that Obama is a special candidate at a special time in our nation’s history. I think that it will be a very long time before anyone else is able to do what Obama has done in terms of fundraising.
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