There was a really interesting story from the National Journal over the weekend with big implications in Colorado. As reporter Shane Goldmacher explains:
Democratic candidates for Congress are crushing their Republican counterparts in small-dollar donations—outraising their GOP foes by an average of more than $100,000 per candidate in the nation's top races.
That's the finding of a new National Journal analysis of federal records in the most competitive House contests in the country. In those, the average Democrat has collected $179,300 in donations under $200; the average Republican has brought in only $78,535.
"That," said Vincent Harris, a Republican digital strategist, "is a big deal."…
…For this analysis, National Journal looked at House candidates and incumbents who were in the most competitive seats, as ranked by The Cook Political Report (those in the "toss-up" and "lean" categories), and those highly touted by the party committees (those in the DCCC's Red to Blue program or the NRCC's Young Guns). The review tallied candidates' "unitemized contributions"—those under $200—as reported to the Federal Election Commission. Those few candidates who itemize every, or nearly every, contribution were excluded. The fundraising figures for all 99 candidates in the analysis are the latest available from the FEC, which for most of them is through June 30.
The findings were stark. In total, the 48 Democrats in the analysis outraised the 51 Republicans in small-dollar donations, $8.6 million to $4 million.
This is the part where we'd tease our readers by asking, Guess which Democrat tops the list?, but you've probably already figured that out from the headline. Anyhoo:
Among Democrats in the analysis, the top small-contributor fundraiser is Andrew Romanoff, a Democratic challenger who is taking on Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in a swing district in suburban Denver. Romanoff has raised $833,527 in small-dollar money, more than 24 percent of his total fundraising. No one else in a targeted race has even raised $500,000.
Romanoff is helped by the fact that he previously ran for Senate, meaning he entered the House race with a far larger network of email addresses and supporters than most. A spokeswoman said more than 15,000 people have donated to his campaign.
Political advisors and strategists quoted by the National Journal largely agree that Democrats are just much, much better at online organizing and fundraising than their Republican counterparts. We don't dispute this analysis, though Republicans should be incensed at their Party's continued inability to figure out the Internet tubes for campaign purposes. One of the great benefits of receiving big support from low-dollar donors is that those donors often end up becoming hard-working volunteers — a big bonus that will pay off repeatedly as GOTV efforts get underway.