Monday, April 16

:: Just Give Me the Numbers

WaPo has an interesting but (as usual) poorly organized article on fundraising totals from the presidential candidates.

[This is my idea of "poorly organized": the first paragraph reads "Sen. Barack Obama raised more money than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for their Democratic primary clash during the first three months of the year, but Clinton heads into spring with more in her campaign account than all Republican presidential candidates combined." Okay, fine, but does that mean Obama also has more in his account than the Republican candidates combined? See fourth paragraph for possible answer - Clinton has also transferred $10m from her Senate account.] Why can't they just write these things memo-style, with bullet points and all the relevant information grouped together?

Amongst the facty nuggets, one finds whorls of speculation masquerading as insight (there's a turkey loaf analogy lurking here, but trying to think it through is making me nauseous). For example, "The reports also uncover trends that can signal strength or weakness. Both McCain's and Obama's reports showed large numbers of small donors, meaning they can return to those donors for more money. Giuliani's and Clinton's reports show donations from large numbers of donors who have maxed out, meaning the candidates must find new sources of cash." Not all small donors can be converted to maximum donors - they simply might not have the resources (giving $20 is a long way away from giving $2,300).

And yes, of course Clinton and Giuliani have to find new donors once the existing ones max out. That's neither a strength nor a weakness - that's just fact. I have no special expertise in this area - and I'd like to keep it that way - but it sounds smart to me for Clinton to hit the major donors now and not compete with Obama for grassroots money. She can tap that later when the primaries do the work of winnowing the field, and meanwhile locking down the major donors adds to the aura of her campaign as a sure bet.

Mo' better numbers here.

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