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July 02, 2007


I think an element of this is that many Clinton supporters see her with a large lead and don't feel motivated to send her money now, but Obama has contributors who support him because of his charisma (and who seek a personal connection to that by giving him money, or by paying to see him [there was something slightly odd about this at mydd]) or who think with enough money he can get past HRC.

There might be some gender differences in contributing reflected here as well.

Or maybe his fundraising staff has a better sense of the electorate than Clinton's.

Byron York:

One question was how McCain's fundraising was affected by his stand in favor of the recent immigration bill. "You can't quantify it," said top adviser John Weaver. "We do know that it had a significant effect in this last quarter. We're very proud of John taking a leadership role in this…but we wouldn't be straight with you if we told you that it didn't have an impact. Having said that, that debate is now over…but it did have an impact."

Not only were some donors withholding their money – some were demanding refunds of earlier donations (from the RNC in general, not necessarily from McCain).

He’s done – stick a fork in him.

I think the answer also becomes clearer when you look at national name recognition, and favorability/unfavorability, between Hillary and Obama. (Full disclosure, I am one of those Obama donors.) Hillary still has a far higher name recognition than Obama among the general public. Essentially, everyone already knows who Hillary is, and I think she's the default answer in polls for Democratic-leaning voters who haven't given the race much attention yet and haven't yet had the chance to take a close look at Obama. At the same time, Hillary has a nationwide 52% *unfavorable* rating; a lot of not just Republicans but independents know about her but don't like her. She doesn't have much room to grow her supporters without overcoming a lot of resistance.

On the other hand, Obama still has a wide field of potential voters who aren't yet very familiar with him, whom he has the chance to win over. The people who have been paying attention early on, who have actively investigated the Democratic candidates, have tilted much more toward Obama. So, numbers of donors is, I think, a leading indicator of where the polls are going to go as more and more people start tuning in to the campaigns.

"At the same time, Hillary has a nationwide 52% *unfavorable* rating"

while beating the Republican candidates in the polls.

This doesn't tell us anything about the interesting difference between her primary polling lead and Obama's fundraising lead.

I am one of Obama's small donors and have sent two checks to his campaign so far, neither of those checks being very substantial unless you realize that they are indeed substantial relative to my low income.
The reason I have donated to Obama may surprise you. Whether he wins the nomination or the presidency is not the point of my donations, though I very much would like to see Obama win both. The point of my donations is that I feel good supporting what he is already successfully achieving, which is the elevation of politics beyond 1] insider control by moneyed elites, 2] negative attacks, and 3] reliance on sound bite sloganeering.

Obama is one intelligent and street savvy guy with a history of having not surrendered his youthful idealism. I see his candidancy as already providing leadership in setting a healthier tone which the other candidates are following. My donations are my way of applauding his already successful trend setting away from 'politics as usual'. I am a woman in my sixties, by the way.

I'm not conscious of adopting it for that reason, but I'm more than usually interested in hearing possible explanations I haven't thought of.

This might be a partial answer:

The consistent lead that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has maintained over Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and others in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination is due largely to one factor: her support from women.
In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, Clinton led Obama by a 2 to 1 margin among female voters. Her 15-point lead in the poll is entirely attributable to that margin.

2 to 1 is a pretty large gap. So – does that mean that men are more likely to make a donation than women? If women account for her lead in the polls, but the money is not flowing her way…

Looks like it may have more to do with income level (and discretionary income):

Clinton is drawing especially strong support from lower-income, lesser-educated women -- voters her campaign strategists describe as "women with needs." Obama, by contrast, is faring better among highly educated women, who his campaign says are interested in elevating the political discourse.

A good chunk of HRC’s support is coming from women who can least afford to spare a candidate $20.

Why does Obama lead in donations while Hillary leads in the polls? My Gut-O-Meter says it is because Hillary's support is blue collar based and Obama's is white collar/professional based. Methinks the average Obama supporter has far more education than the average Hillary supporter. The educated folks have more discretionary income that can be used for such things as political donations.

I suppose it would be churlish to suggest that a lot of polling is, either in methodology or reporting, skewed by media narratives already in place, while fundraising data only have to be accountable to real people doing things on their own.

"I suppose it would be churlish to suggest that a lot of polling is, either in methodology or reporting, skewed by media narratives already in place"

Well, it might as well be the case that Clinton is underpolled based on media narratives in place as over.

Although this isn't borne out by the head-to-head numbers, I suspect that there may be a large number of Obama donors who are independents or republicans*, and this group is not represented in the primary polling of voters registered as Democrats.

(*Speaking as a single sample point from Madison WI, I have heard conservative friends express intrigue in Obama, while I have yet to talk to a liberal friend who is a strong HRC supporter.)

Dougie, are those republicans who are considering voting for Obama, or are they republicans who want Obama to be the nominee so a republican nominee will win?

It's hard for me to imagine dixiecrats voting for Obama, one thing considered.

J Thomas, these are 25-35yo republican friends who have sheepishly admitted the destruction and division wrought by Bushco, and I think Obama's "people are hungry for a change" theme is resonant enough not to be dismissed out of hand as democrap.

As for Obama getting dixiecrat votes, I will admit to being naively optimistic.

Rudy Giuliani or Vampire Ghouliani?

"As for Obama getting dixiecrat votes, I will admit to being naively optimistic."

I don't think the optimism is that naive. Harold Ford came within three percentage points of winning the Tennessee Senate race last year. These are not your father's Dixiecrats anymore.

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