May Fundraising


Nobody seems concerned about this but me, but given how accustomed we’ve all become to the idea that Barack Obama will be able to raise vast sums of money for his campaign, isn’t this factoid a little bit striking: “Mr. Obama‚Äôs fund-raising slowed abruptly in May, when the campaign raised $22 million, $10 million less than it had in April and an even sharper drop relative to his monthly performances earlier in the year.”

What if the small donors who powered Obama’s rise look at a guy who’s ahead in the polls and who everyone is predicting will shatter financial records and think to themselves, “why bother.” Small dollar fundraising requires you to overcome collective action problems and too much success may make that difficult. The psychology of donation seems to me to require both “buy-in” on the part of the donor and also a sense of being embattled.