This is impressive: in just two weeks, the Clark campaign pulled in $3.5 million, more than 2/3 of which was raised online. Added to Dean’s $5m in the final two weeks and that’s an impressive showing by two “outsiders” in the race.
Let’s put this in perspective: as the quarter ended, the Dean and Clark campaigns combined were on pace to beat President Bush’s fundraising in Q3. ($4.25m per week, 12 weeks in a quarter = $51 million over an entire quarter.) Now this is entirely hypothetical — after all, fundraising surges towards the end of a quarter and isn’t representative of the entire quarter’s giving. Nevertheless, it’s an intriguing take on the two candidates’ totals.
Perhaps most impressive for the Democrats, and most troubling for the Republicans: Dean’s average donation is $80 and Clark’s is just $167. It’s the small dollars that are fueling these campaigns. Those people who give in small amounts can be persuaded to do so again.
Much like the decentralized “open source” movement that the Dean campaign has been modeled on, these two campaigns have proven that their fundraising model is sacalable. The Bush model is much harder to scale — there are only so many $2,000 donors out there.