Yesterday, I commented on Barack Obama's fundraising success, and some time ago, I speculated that we could eventually see a day when traditional campaign fundraising is rendered obsolete by Internet fundraising techniques. As Bloomberg reports, the Obama campaign is making considerable headway raising money by focusing on individuals and the Internet.
Obama's focus on using the Internet and other venues to attract a greater pool of smaller donors who can keep giving puts him in position to keep beating Clinton in fund-raising battles. Clinton has a far higher percentage of supporters who have already given the maximum amount to her for the election.
So far, Obama has received money from more than 258,000 donors, his campaign said. That tops the 100,000 reported by rival John Edwards, 54, a former North Carolina senator. Clinton, 59, had about 60,000 donors in the first quarter; she hasn't released her latest figure.
Obama's campaign said he brought in about 154,000 new donors in the second quarter; Edwards reported about 60,000 new donors in the period as he raised $9 million, almost all of it for the primary campaign.
Most of Obama's base of supporters can keep on giving. In the first quarter, about 5 percent of Clinton's donors gave the maximum allowed and can no longer be tapped. For Obama, that figure was less than 1 percent.
Could the Internet help us to revive our democracy which has been overwhelmed by the power of special interest groups and big donors? It's an intriguing possibility, but I have to believe that the power brokers are right now busily working on plans to prevent that from happening. The first thing they will have to do is derail the Obama candidacy. Look for things to start getting ugly here pretty soon.
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