Today, the White House is pushing back against a widely-read New York Times article on the state of President Obama's fundraising army. According to Times reporter Nick Confessore, the grassroots donors who contributed small amounts ($10-$50) to his record-breaking 2008 presidential campaign are nowhere to be seen—spelling big trouble for his re-election war-chest:
Through June 30, the close of the most recent campaign reporting period, more than 552,000 people had contributed to Mr. Obama’s re-election effort, according to campaign officials. Half of them were new donors, and nearly all of them gave contributions of less than $250.
But those figures obscured another statistic: a vast majority of Mr. Obama’s past donors, who number close to four million, have not yet given him any money at all.
The article made a big splash, prompting some top political observers to challenge its thesis and others to emphasize its importance. Here's the landscape of thought on it:
It's plainly untrue In a statement, President Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pushes back hard on Confessore's article. "More than 552,000 Americans contributed to the campaign in the second quarter — more than in all of 2007 — including 260,000 who had never given before," he writes. "That's evidence of a growing organization. 98 percent of contributions were in amounts of $250 or less compared to only 6 percent of the Romney campaign's total coming from small dollar donations."