Obama Q2 Donations: A Preliminary Analysis
President Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, sent out an email to supporters yesterday touting contributions to President Obama’s reelection campaign for Q2.
Though Messina’s email, titled “982,967“, sounded fantastic and very upbeat, a closer look at the actual data will show there is trouble in paradise!
Reviewing Messina’s previously reported Q1 data compared to Q2 will reveal a huge discrepancy in the Messina email. It will also reveal very disturbing trends in the election campaign that spell big trouble for Democrats in 2012.
The Messina Q2 Email
Messina said there were 606,027 folks donating to Obama’s reelection campaign this quarter which, he said, is “even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter” for nearly a million individual donors so far in the campaign.
He also triumphantly announced that there were “more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign” and that “we far exceeded our goal of $55 million this quarter”.
He said donations were $70 million total for the quarter and that 98% of them gave $250 or less “at an average amount of $56” per donor.
What do the actual Q2 donation figures really tell us?
That question will be answered… but first, the big discrepancy!
The Big Discrepancy!
The Messina email is titled “982,967” for the total number of people who, so far, have donated to Obama’s reelection campaign.
He claims that 606,027 of those donors gave in this quarter. Unfortunately, he also claimed in Q1 that there were 552,462 total donors to the campaign back then.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Though 606K is bigger than 552K their sum is about 175K more folks than the total of 983K Messina reported. That is a pretty big discrepancy. Either Messina is wrong about the total number of people who donated to the campaign in Q1 or wrong about the total number in Q2. He can’t be right about both.
Its a fair assumption that the 982,967 figure is accurate given that it is the title of the email. Its also a fair assumption that the 552K donors in Q1 is accurate given that during that time there was no overwhelming reason to exaggerate it.
This time, however, there is every reason in the world to exaggerate the total.
Its no secret that Obama’s popularity has spiraled downward faster than the economy! Its no secret that even among the Democratic faithful there is more grumbling about President Obama’s performance than about corporations at an “Occupy Wall Street” rally.
Therefore, it is a reasonable assumption that Messina’s 606K figure for Q2 is the one that is wrong.
The real total number of donors for Q2 should be about 431K donors instead of the 606K claimed by Messina.
If that is true then the number of Obama campaign donors in Q2 dropped by 21% from Q1.
That seems more reasonable given Obama’s abysmal poll numbers.
Messina’s Q1 Dollar Donation Totals
In order to find out what the dollar donation figures for Q2 really mean we need to review Messina’s Q1 reported numbers.
Don’t be fooled by Messina’s claims of an upwelling of grassroots donations from the masses by ordinary citizen’s like you and me and that is surging the President towards reelection. That ain’t happening.
How many ordinary middle class Americans can afford $35,800-a-plate fundraisers? Those are the places President Obama goes for his money.
The Obama Campaign also told us last quarter that most of the money collected came from ordinary citizens like us. It didn’t.
For a refresher course on that subject read these two articles on Obama’s Q1 fundraising efforts based upon a New York Time analysis and a report from the Obama Campaign itself:
“Obama’s Reelection Campaign: An Analysis” – InformThePundits, azleader, 7/13/2011
“Not a Grassroots campaign!” – InformThePundits, azleader, 7/18/2011
First off there was $86 million collected in Q1 compared to $70 million in this quarter.
An even more important thing to note from those articles is that the total dollar figure reported by Messina is from what he calls the “Obama Victory Fund“.
The “Obama Victory Fund” (OVF) combines collected money for both President Obama and for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that collects money for ALL Democratic candidates, not just the President.
No wonder Obama’s donation dollar figures sound so good, they include donations for all candidates, not just for himself! Back in 2008, his donation figures did NOT include the DNC like it does this year.
The OVF collects the vast majority of its money from “bundlers”. Bundlers are big time campaign contributors who collect money from large groups of individuals and corporations and bundle them together into a single humongous donation. By doing so bundlers are allowed to collect unlimited contributions whose contributors do NOT have to be identified and reported to the Federal Elections Commision.
That is a purposeful loophole left in election law. Both Republicans and Democrats take advantage of that loophole to legally circumvent election laws to collect unlimited campaign funds.
Obama’s list of bundlers is found here:
“Volunteer Fundraisers List” – Barackobama.com, 10/14/2011
George Kaiser, one of Obama’s bundlers from the 2008 campaign, who is a central figure in the Solyndra scandal, no longer shows up on the list. Imagine that. Isn’t that special?!
Comparing Q2 and Q1 donations
In Q1 the total combined donations were $86 million. $48 million went directly to Barack Obama’s campaign and $38 million to the DNC.
In Q2 the total donations is $70 million. The breakdown between how much went to the Obama campaign and how much went to the DNC is not yet available.
That means total donations are 19% DOWN from Q1. That clearly proves that overall support for President Obama and Democrats in general is dwindling.
It will be interesting to see the breakdown between how much was donated to the DNC and how much to President Obama himself. A larger percentage to the DNC than last time will mean support for Obama himself among Democrats is shrinking.
Lastly, according to Messina, in Q2 the average donation was $56/donor but in Q1 it was $69/donor… that’s down 19% from Q1.
The number of donors and the total amount of money donated to President Obama’s reelection campaign and to the DNC for all Democratic candidates is down.
The total number of donors is down by 21% from Q1. The total amount they collected is down 19% per donor from Q1. The total amount of money donated is also down by 19%.
No matter how you cut the mustard, that spells trouble for both President Obama and all Democrats up for reelection in 2012.
Financial support for Democrats from its own constituency is in a serious tailspin. How can Democrats convince independents to vote for them when they aren’t even sure themselves of their own candidates?
All that will necessarily translate into fewer votes for Democrats in 2012.
Messina’s touted 1 million donor figure doesn’t sound so good anymore, now does it? And that is even before stopping to realize that 1 million is less than 1/3rd of 1% of the total U.S. population!
No wonder President Obama and Democrats want to blame corporations and rich people for everything.
It will be very interesting to see how much of the $70 million collected in Q2 goes to the DNC compared to how much goes to President Obama directly.
In Q1, 56% went to President Obama. If that percentage drops in Q2 that means support for President Obama himself is dropping even among Democrats.
Anyone care to make a prediction? 😉 😉