Chart: The Grassroots Still Love Barack Obama, Fundraising Edition

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For all his dismal approval ratings, President Obama’s latest fundraising numbers for his re-election campaign prove he can still rake in the bucks. And it’s not just the deep-pocketed who are giving—Obama’s still receiving small-dollar donations from grassroots donors who, despite his struggles, appear to be standing by their man.

Although small-dollar donors—people who gave $200 or less—comprised less than 10 percent of GOP frontrunners Mitt Romney’s and Rick Perry’s fundraising between January and September of this year, nearly half of Obama’s haul was from small-dollar donors, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). That’s a higher percentage of small-dollar giving than Obama’s vaunted $750 million money machine from the 2008 campaign. In fact, during the last campaign, small donors never accounted for more than 40 percent of Obama’s quarterly total. All told, Obama has raised $41 million from small donors for the 2012 campaign.

Here’s a chart from CRP showing who’s receiving the most grassroots donations:

As you can see, the presidential candidates pulling in the most small-dollar donations are more hard-line conservatives, including Michele Bachmann (more than 50 percent), Herman Cain (49 percent), and Ron Paul (48 percent). The exception is GOP longshot Buddy Roemer. Nearly 80 percent of Roemer’s meager fundraising total of $233,000 comes from grassroots donors. There’s a simple reason for that: Roemer said he isn’t accepting donations higher than $100. (The other 20 percent of Roemer’s campaign funds came from a loan he made to his campaign.)

In an October 13th email to supporters, Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina hyped this outpouring of grassroots support for the campaign, noting that nearly 983,000 people have already given to the re-election effort. Messina went on to urge supporters to push the campaign’s donor list to one million. “So getting to a million grassroots donors isn’t just a huge accomplishment this early in the campaign,” he wrote. “It’s our answer to our opponents, the press, and anyone who wants to know whether the President’s supporters have his back.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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