Sunday, August 17, 2008

Donors vs. Dollars

Barack Obama outperformed John McCain in fundraising last month, but more important in my view is the number of contributors that donated to his campaign.

Overall, Obama has 2 million contributors compared to John McCain's 600,000. And polls indicate Obama's supporters are much more enthusiastic than McCain's. That will likely translate to more people volunteering for Obama and more people enthusiastically talking him up to family and friends.

Social networkers know that its those best endorsements comes from someone in one's own network of trusted family, friends and colleagues. A recommendation from the latter is usually more effective than one from a stranger knocking at one's door or calling on the phone. Television ads usually work best with those who have not been getting sufficient input from their real life networks.

The large base of supporters also bodes well when looked at purely from the money standpoint. Many of Obama's donors give small amounts and thus are unlikely to reach legal contribution limits. Wealthy donors tend to give the maximum amount in one shot during big fundraising parties were they have an opportunity to meet the candidate personally. Obama can look forward to repeated donations from his mass of middle class and lower income contributors.

Camp Obama in Austin, Texas.

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