Politico’s bad math and the changing landscape of fundraising

Third quarter fundraising numbers are available, and there’s a lot of spin out there. Most of it is dominated by the Dems proclaiming that Obama raised $70 million. What Obama did was raise $43 million as the incumbent and the DNC raised $27.

I did get a giggle out of the Politico spin on the matter. First they say:

The top three GOP presidential contenders , meanwhile, are expected to have raised about half that much cumulatively, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain raising $17 million, $14 million and $8 million respectively. The Republican National Committee raised a respectable $9.3 million over the same period, but still has millions in debt.

Then they continue later:

Taken as a total, the top three Republicans plus the RNC took in $45 million in the August-to-October reporting period, not an insignificant amount.

Now, I’m just a housewife, but I checked with my Excel program and 17 + 14 + 8 + 9 is 48, not 45. Not that a 7% difference matters or anything. (You gotta wonder if they just don’t get stuff wrong for the heck of it sometimes.)

You have to dig deeper to see that Ron Paul raised $5 million for the same quarter. The rest of the field? I can’t find the numbers – they aren’t due for a couple of days still – but I expect the total of all things right will be less than the $70 million Obama is touting.

Until you figure in the independent groups, that is.

I think, and yes, I’ll disclaim that housewife thing again, but I think the fundraising landscape is likely changing in a significant way. While it’s fine for the administration to tout their fundraising prowess, the gorilla in the room is all those little fundraising niches who are whittling away at the Democratic message of free money for everyone. I suspect this new fundraising strategy will have as much an impact as social media did in 2008. It is another change that’s coming. The Republicans seem to have capitalized on this one.

Of course, time will tell, but until then, do me a favor. Read carefully and check their math for them.


  1. The Lorax says:

    7%? I would round up and go with 6% difference…. >:)

  2. I thought I saw 0.0666667 on my trusty Excel sheet. Oh, wait. You’re trying to be funny, aren’t you. 😉

  3. Did anyone else notice that Obama held a raffle with entries being only $3 each in an effort to make it appear that he had many donors giving an average of a smaller donation? It’s an obvious ploy to draw attention away from the big labor and crony bundle donors.


  4. Awesome catch!