Where it Counts, There’s No Enthusiasm Gap


Enthusiasm gap? What enthusiasm gap?

President Obama’s campaign and Democratic allies raised a record $181 million in September, his campaign manager said today….The Obama campaign manager said the average donation was $53, with 98% of the contributions at $250 or less.

In the end, I wonder if the Republican focus on Super PACs will end up hurting them? Team Blue might be raising a bit less money overall than Team Red, but the Obama campaign is raising more than the Romney campaign. If you’re Karl Rove, I suppose you might argue that Super PACs have more freedom to launch nasty (but effective) attack ads than the campaigns themselves, so it’s a good thing that a big chunk of conservative money is going to Crossroads GPS and their ilk. If you’re Jim Messina, you’ll probably argue that, in the end, it’s better to have most of your money under central control, where you can use it precisely the way you need to.

I have no idea which is the better argument. Either way, though, Obama certainly doesn’t seem to be having any big problem raising money from the folks who supported him in 2008. I continue to think that Mitt Romney lost a real chance to eat into that support when he decided last spring that he had to continue placating the tea partiers instead of immediately moving to the center.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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