A key element of any campaign is how healthy its small dollar donor base is. Even here at the Madison Project, our success is based on the folks that give $25 or less. We don’t have a lot of maxed out major donors.
So when President Obama’s campaign reports an almost $30 million drop-off in fundraising from the first quarter, to me it signals several things. The first is that his progressive donor base is even getting nervous and thinking, “Do I really want to give my $5 or $10 to this guy?” The second, much like the first, shows that there is an enthusiasm gap. What was there in 2008 is not there right now. The progressive activists that swarmed precincts across the nation in 2008 and turned states like Indiana and North Carolina blue are having second thoughts. The college kids aren’t swiping their parents’ credit cards to donate to Obama in a state of political ecstasy like they did 3 years ago.
Do I think this could change? Sure. Anything can happen in politics. But for the Billion Dollar Campaign to have a huge drop-off in the second quarter of this year, at a time when it is supposed to be gaining momentum, does not bode well for a president whose approval rating is virtually locked in at 40%.