Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

The meaning of fundraising numbers at this early point, as we all know, is largely an expectations game by the media, a game in which the campaigns gladly take part. So, what's the status of expectations 4 days out from the fundraising deadline? Let's look at the Democrats.

First quarter numbers can be found here. As you'll recall, the big story was Obama outraising Clinton in primary dollars. It also cemented Edwards in the top tier as his $14 million take was not only well above his stated $10 million goal for the quarter, but it was also double his 2003 Q1 fundraising.

So what's the latest buzz?

Hillary Clinton has been playing the expectations game by predicting that Obama would once again overtake her this quarter but now it looks as though the opposite may be true. From The Caucus:

[A leaked campaign] memo...estimated that the Clinton campaign would raise roughly $27 million this quarter, which ends June 30. Some of her advisers have predicted raising $27-$30 million for the quarter.

The LA Times has Obama's spin:

Obama, who raised $25.7 million from January through March, could surpass that total, though aides say they have no chance of beating Clinton. Obama amassed a stunning list of 104,000 donors in the first three months and since has expanded that base.

But really, regardless of who wins the fundraising race between them, both will remain the top two competitors in the Democratic field. Watch for Obama to continue to stress the number of donors to play into the "movement" narrative from his fundraising asks (even now his website declares 3876 donors just since June 25.)  The one question on people's minds: will either of them break the $35 million 2003 Q2 record set by George Bush?

Edwards's Q2 strategy has been to set a goal of $9 million and to track the progress on his website. As of now, it states that Edwards is at $7,559,801 from 51,919 donors. Expect the number of donors to be key here as significantly fewer, 40,000, donated to his campaign in Q1. While the media has seemed to sense a whiff of desperation in his latest fundraising asks, expect Edwards to exceed the $9 million (especially with his secret end of quarter weapon Elizabeth on the case,) to play up the fact that it's double his Q2 take from 2003 and that it places him on track for their $40 million goal by the Iowa caucuses.

"This is not about outraising our opponents in a meaningless fundraising arms race or what any of the other campaigns are doing around us," said Edwards' spokesman, Eric Schultz. "This is about executing our plan, which is raising enough money to push our message in the critical early states, and building strong operations around the country."

No matter how Edwards does though, an impressive quarter by Richardson could drag him down off his top tier perch in the media's eyes into a new second tier. All Richardson needs to do, it would seem, is outperform his own Q1 numbers to impress and potentially knock Edwards down a peg. As The LA Times writes:

What's more, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who raised $6.2 million last quarter, could surpass that total and draw within striking distance of Edwards. That would vault Richardson's standing in the contest at Edwards' expense.

For Richardson, strong Q2 numbers would be an opportunity to secure a spot alongside the big guys, a narrative that's already begun based on his rise in the polls.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Democrats, Fundraising, Q2 (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

Hmmm. Both Obama and Clinton have done very well this quarter, but who has outraised who? That's hard to tell, and I suspect even the campaigns themselves don't really know.

I doubht Richardson will outraise Edwards, though.

by Korha 2007-06-27 08:45AM | 0 recs
Bet Hillary donors who maxxed out in Q1

are giving to Richardson in Q2,

he's hillary's stalking horse who has no chance at the top spot angling for VP

by TarHeel 2007-06-27 09:54AM | 0 recs
COH

The other part of the story will be burn rate and cash on hand.  I sense that Richardson has been trying to spend his way up the tiers, with ads in NH and IA before anyone else, for example.

I also have a suspicion that Obama is still spending more than Hillary and will end with less COH.

by MassEyesandEars 2007-06-27 10:01AM | 0 recs
It's fine

if the MSM wants to conflate money totals with success--that's their job, spouting crap--but I see no reason why a My DD blogger should so readily spout the crap along with them.

It isn't the job of the blogosphere to beat back harmful conventional wisdom?

by david mizner 2007-06-27 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: It's fine

documenting it is different than reinforcing it. this is a game the campaigns play right along with the media and managing these expectations is part of a campaign's job. I actually think the Edwards camp has done an expert job of this. Richardson may put a slight wrench in that this quarter, however, we'll have to see.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-27 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: It's fine

The Richardson numbers will be interesting as are his poll numbers and now being considered top tier. That will give him the momentum needed to raise more money and get public support in IA and NH.

by robliberal 2007-06-27 09:54AM | 0 recs
as an Edwards supporter

I would like to see Richardson get treated as a top-tier candidate. There are a lot of rumors about personal baggage, and he needs to be vetted. Right now the media are ignoring him.

He has the potential to do very well in Iowa if he can raise his game in the later debates, which more voters will watch. I don't want any big surprises about him to emerge in the media next February or March, when it's too late for voters to take that into consideration.

by desmoinesdem 2007-06-27 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: It's fine

Yeah, it's a fine line. Reading my comment, I think it's a bit harsh. But this seems a bit over the top:

"All Richardson needs to do, it would seem, is outperform his own Q1 numbers to impress and potentially knock Edwards down a peg."

Really? Richardson will take down Edwards a peg by raising more $$$$ this quarter? I doubt it--his "surge" seems to be coming at the expense of Obama, and didn't Dean and a hundred other candidates teach us that money doesn't mean all that much?--but even if this is the case, isn't it worth pointing out how ridiculous and corrosive this is rather than just passing along the bad news?

by david mizner 2007-06-27 11:49AM | 0 recs
One more thing

which you touch on: one of the big stories coming out of this quarter will be JRE's 60,000 donors, which will be more than Hillary's. Edwards has made a conscious decision to focus on small donors, a choice made in part of necessity, and it will further liberate him from the dirty clutch of big donors.

by david mizner 2007-06-27 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

Given the almost universal institutional support for Hillary Clinton within the Democratic establishment, its amazing to see Obama, Edwards and Richardson raising enough money to compete. The Clintons have cornered the huge donor base through their long term relationships over the years. If Hillary doesn't outraise Obama this quarter, I think it says a lot.

by rosebowl 2007-06-27 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

I think Obama may very well outraise Clinton.

by robliberal 2007-06-27 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

I don't think so, and stated so.  I think Clinton will be over 30M and Obama around 27M

by icebergslim 2007-06-27 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

I agree...Hillary has courted all the high valued endorsement which helps her get new big donors...Check out the menendez donors..He allows her to a pathway to wealthy cuban-americans donors.....This is what those big endorsement does for you,and this is why she's the establishment candidate...She has to blow out Obama on the money front.

by JaeHood 2007-06-27 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

"She has to blow out Obama on the money front."

Obama will most likely outraise everyone this quarter. I'm sure it won't be by a wide margin but he has the buzz going.

by bsavage 2007-06-27 10:38AM | 0 recs
Fascinating to see how you

and robliberal (see above) and other Hillary supporters are walking in lock step with the same talking points (this one is about lowering expectations). It's almost as if you get them sent to you.

by Populism2008 2007-06-27 11:41AM | 0 recs
I think everyone is trying to lower expectations

Obama, Edwards, Clinton, Biden. The only who isnt seems to be Richardson, with his claim he will outraise Edwards.

by jj32 2007-06-27 12:00PM | 0 recs
Shhh

Utterly absurd. We're getting sick and tired of your idiotic conspiracy theories.

;-)

by jforshaw 2007-06-27 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats

Number of contributors...

number of voters...

the polls...

I've been thinking about the HUGE number of contributors we are seeing ~50k-100k by the top three Democrats.

I don't have any experience with polling, but I wonder of the "likely voter" samples are really accurate this time around.

-Zen Blade

by Zen Blade 2007-06-27 01:35PM | 0 recs
Obama campaign trying to blow off expectations

I almost dunno why I'm still posting at this site, but...

The Obama campaign seems to be trying to fight the frame of the "expectations game" already. They just sent out to their mailing list an email saying in part:

Media pundits and Washington insiders are already speculating about our end of quarter fundraising totals. They claim the amount of money we raise by this Saturday, June 30th, will determine the success or failure of our campaign.

But they've got it wrong.

Raising money is essential, especially right now, but what will make our campaign a success is the way we do it. Our funding comes from a grassroots movement of individuals giving what they can afford. And the numbers we care about reflect two things: people and passion.

Here's what really matters:

   * The number of people donating to the movement
    * The total number of donations people make to show their commitment

It's as simple as that. It's the people that count...

[Snip various personal stories written by people who've donated to the Obama campaign in the last few days-- apparently their donation form has a box for that]

...Share your support and inspiration today:

http://www.barackobama.com/inspire

Let's show the pundits the kind of numbers that really matter -- the number of Americans making an investment in change and hope.

Now, this is basically the message the Obama campaign's been pushing all along-- that they don't care how much money they raise, they care about total number of donors. They were broadcasting the exact same thing word for word before the end of Q1, which almost makes me wonder if their Q1 fundraising lead came as a surprise to them. However here the tone is different from in their Q1 push: the references to "pundits", for example, are totally new. This time they seem to be specifically anticipating a media narrative where Obama raised less than Clinton and this is to be viewed as disappointing.

So I'm interpreting all this to mean:

1. The Obama campaign is explicitly expecting that  they will raise less money in Q2 than the Clinton campaign.

2. Once this becomes official, they're planning to push back-- and in the case of their mailing list, have begun the pushback already-- with "but we got more donations, just the donations were smaller".

by Silent sound 2007-06-27 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama campaign trying to blow off expectations

yeah I saw that. I love the fact that he's stressing the importance of number of donors. the fact is, he raises so much $$-wise, he doesn't even need to do this yet it can only raise the engagement of voters to drill into people's heads that any amount by any person matters.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-27 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama campaign trying to blow off expectations

He understand Democractic politics reelies on People more than moeny.  This is how we beat Republicans for year.

by gb1437a 2007-06-27 07:13PM | 0 recs
Which tier

People who get into this stuff way too early (anyone reading this -- myself included, of course) are just starving for any scraps of data we can get, so we focus on things like Q2 fundraising.  Trying to read into it who is first tier and who isn't just feeds into that Chris Matthews horse-race-how-will-it-play-in-Peoria crap (because I don't have the brains to comprehend anyone's policies).

Campaigns are slow, and I"m pretty sure that they are supposed to be.  On some level, thank evolution (or god, if you prefer), for Iowans and New Hamshirites for being so deliberate about all this and actually asking questions and trying to determine who's good and who's not.  Sure, a lot of it is hokey, and a lot of times I don't agree with the decisions they make.  But I'd rather have them running the show than moron talking heads.

by alydar 2007-06-27 07:37PM | 0 recs
Pretty lame

Fundraising numbers are an indicator that the media inflates to pretend that they can track the
race better than they really can.

Just like worthless national polling that includes
far too many non primary voters and shift wildly.

People forget what Edwards has.

Edwards has Iowa.

The only polls to show him not in first are done by ARG , R2K (2 polls)and Mason Dixon (1 poll).

ARG and R2K are the only polling firms to show John McCain(yes John McCain ahead on the GOP side while all other polling shows Romney ahead.

As for Mason Dixon - big deal. They have polled once.

Real Clear Politics' adverage for Iowa does not include the PPPpoll(Edwards up by 14%)or the Richardson poll(Edwards up by 10%).

Add those and get rid of the clearly flawed ARG polls and Edwards' lead would be quite significant.

Also,the most respected Iowa polls are done by the Des Moines Register and Selzer and Co. Their polls consistently show Edwards with a larger lead than the other polls.

Edwards also has something that Obama or Clinton simply don't...

Electability.

Look at the totality of 2008 polling it is crystal clear that Edwards is the most electable.

Edwards does not need a gazillion dollars

He is more than on track to pass his goal

Face it.

He is likely going to win Iowa.

When he does not only will the money come pouring in but the free media he will get will dwarf the ad buys of Obama and Clinton.

Anyone who says that they know what will happen if a certain candidate raises a certain amount proves that they are full of themselves and "it".

by Mike Conrad 2007-06-27 11:06PM | 0 recs

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