Monday, July 23, 2007

Some WSJ reasons for the Dem fundraising lead over GOP

Today's article:

With more than a year to go before the 2008 elections, Democratic candidates have raised $100 million more in campaign contributions than Republicans, putting them on track to win the money race for the White House and Congress for the first time since the government began detailed accounting of campaign fund raising three decades ago.

Democrats have taken the lead by exploiting widespread disapproval of President Bush and the Iraq war to develop a more robust online network of new, small donors, as well as to gain traction with deep-pocketed business contributors.

Democrats have also benefited because of their comparative strength with Internet activists. While Republican voters tend to gravitate toward traditional media like talk radio, Democratic voters with strong opinions are more likely to go online to read blogs. That, in turn, has led to an explosion in online giving to Democrats, who are building lists of thousands of small-dollar donors for a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail.

Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and other members of the Private Equity Council trade group gave 69% of their $3.4 million in campaign donations to Democrats last year, up from 51% of $2.7 million in 2000, data from the Center for Responsive Politics show. Separate data for large hedge funds show a similar pattern of giving.

Other sectors are following suit. The securities industry flipped its allegiance to Democrats in 2006, giving more to Democrats than Republicans for the first time in a decade, the Center for Responsive Politics said.

Some wealthy Republicans also are switching sides, including business executives who want access to the levers of power, or who simply don't mind crossing party lines to support candidates they like. Many say they are disturbed by the steep growth in government spending under President Bush, as well as the perceived erosion of America's standing in the world.

New York venture capitalist and former American Express Co. Chief Executive James D. Robinson III, a lifelong Republican, says he is backing Mrs. Clinton. "She's been very involved in business development and sensitive to our issues," Mr. Robinson says.

Other Republicans supporting the New York Democrat for president include Terrence A. Duffy, executive chairman of CME Group, the Chicago-based commodities market; John Mack, Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Jeffrey Volk, who heads Citigroup Inc.'s global agency and trust business.

I posted this a week ago:
With the uncertainty of "Fred Thompson: in or out" many potential GOP donors are keeping their powder dry. What is the point of donating to Giuliani or Romney now, if one of them is going to fall out of the race before the end of the state primary cycle? Once the GOP Top 2 candidates are revealed (the way Hilary and Barack have been all quarter), the GOP will start catching up in their aggregate fundraising.

This may also have an effect with polls and pundits, which is why I believe that the Dem pricing of 56% chance of presidential victory is well below what the pollsters are reporting.

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