A Bernie Sanders supporter points out that Democrats have a fundraising problem compared to Republicans.
The fundraising problem Democrats face isn’t just about money. According to Michael Whitney, the lack of small donations means a lack of grass roots enthusiasm. The fundraising problem may foreshadow a problem finding volunteers to help Democrat campaigns. As someone who worked for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, Whitney claims that he holds the key for solving the fundraising problem, but I doubt it.
Whitney writes at Politico, “The Democratic Party’s Looming Fundraising Crisis.”
Halfway through Year One of the Trump presidency, the Democratic base is energized. Its voters are showing up at rallies, crowding town hall forums, self-organizing into local groups and scaring Republican incumbents: If Democrats turn out to vote in the 2018 midterms at the same levels they have in 2017’s special elections, the party will pick up 80 seats in the U.S. House.
There’s one problem for the Democrats: The party has a serious fundraising crisis.
Over the first six months of 2017, the Republican National Committee pulled in $75 million—nearly twice as much money as the Democratic National Committee, which raised $38 million. The predicament isn’t simply that there is a funding gap between the parties; it’s what kind of money they attract. Republicans have quietly taken a decisive edge over Democrats when it comes to small-dollar fundraising.
During that same six-month time span, the RNC raised $33 million in small contributions—money from people who donate $200 or less over an election cycle—while that same class of donors gave the DNC just $21 million.
This isn’t just about money. Small-dollar donors are an important measure of how much grass-roots enthusiasm a campaign or organization has. They are the supporters who will show up to knock on doors, make phone calls and get out the vote. And since they don’t donate enough to reach campaigns’ individual contribution limits, you can return to ask them for money time and again—which frees campaigns from continually being on the hunt for new, deep-pocketed donors who can max out. The lack of their support threatens to prevent major gains by the party in 2018 and beyond.
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