Activity Report: October 1st-20th, 2007

This is our latest installment of our Weekly ActBlue Activity Reports. This is a special 3 week edition to cover what’s happened in October since our last set of reports.

Total Amount Contributed: $1,005,545.02
Total # of Contributions: 11,117
Avg. Contribution size: $90.45

Total # of Recipient Campaigns & Committees: 438

Here are the Top 5 Recipients on ActBlue by number of donors.

Rank Name District Donors
1 PAC 2875
2 John Edwards President 1452
3 Niki Tsongas MA-05 547
4 Blue America PAC PAC 383
5 Chris Dodd President 354

Here are the Top 5 Candidate Recipients on ActBlue by total amount raised.

Rank Name District Raised
1 PAC $156,794.66
2 John Edwards President $109,261.50
3 Niki Tsongas MA-05 $55,452.28
4 Iowa Democratic Party Party $26,505.00
5 Mark Warner VA-Sen $23,295.00

Here are the Top 5 ActBlue Fundraising Pages by number of donors.

Rank Name Donors Raised Average
1 Eschaton- Candidate Good Behavior 288 $15,218.36 $31.63
2 Don’t Hurt Sick Kids 252 $7,440.06 $17.71
3 Blue America ’08 226 $31,985.68 $23.12
4 People’s Email Network 141 $4,760.00 $23.21
5 Draft Udall 79 $1,000.08 $7.57

It’s been a busy few weeks for the start of a new fundraising quarter. Over $1 million has flowed through to Democratic campaigns. Al
Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize caused lots of excitement among donors putting
one of the draft committees urging him to run atop of the lists. Niki Tsongas recently won her special election to the MA-05 seat bringing her activity up to the top of our lists as well.

ActBlue Q3 Stats Week: Thursday

Yesterday we looked at the top candidates on ActBlue for the third quarter.  Today we’ll look at our ActBlue fundraising pages, where any individual, organization or campaign can support the candidates and causes of their choice.

Before we look at the individual pages here are some big picture
numbers. Since ActBlue started three years ago, 5,011 different
fundraising pages have been created. In
the 3rd Quarter of 2007, 757 new fundraising pages were created.

And now, the Top 10 lists of ActBlue fundraising pages by number of
donors and dollars broken down by lifetime totals and those for the
recently completed Q2.

Top 10 fundraising pages by # of donors (Q3-2007)

   donors | page name
   9,698 | johnedwards
   2,446 | burnbush
   1,526 | welcomebacktim
      995 | blueamerica08
      962 | bluemajority
      938 | thepen
      905 | warner
      811 | netrootsfornoriega
      473 | couragecampaign
      448 | roadblockrepublicans

Top 10 fundraising pages by # donors (Lifetime)

donors   | page name
49,518 | johnedwards
14,444 | netrootscandidates
  8,994 | hackett
  6,157 | blueamerica
  5,526 | pacforachange
  3,555 | eschaton
  3,421 | takebackthecongress
  2,758 | dnc
  2,450 | republicanfirewall
  2,446 | burnbush

Top 10 fundraising pages by $ (Q3-2007)

$ amount | page name
  $713,600 | johnedwards
  $402,647 | warner
  $141,675 | netrootsfornoriega
    $88,185 | burnbush
    $85,189 | dansealsforcongress
    $75,169 | welcomebacktim
    $71,124 | bluemajority
    $70,909 | blueamerica08
    $49,444 | donfornewmexico
    $40,425 | novick4senate

Top 10 fundraising pages by $ (Lifetime)

$ amount  |  page name
$4,035,098 | johnedwards
$1,544,139 | netrootscandidates
   $612,749 |
   $545,300 | blueamerica
   $463,889 | hackett
   $402,647 | warner
   $366,947 | dkos
   $320,100 | sos-all
   $282,485 | pacforachange
   $276,557 | christine
   $249,582 | republicanfirewall

As you can see, a mix of different approaches are represented on these lists. Some are dedicated pages for particular candidates, like Dan Seals or Mark Warner, who use ActBlue for their online campaign contribution. Others are being used by current officeholders to raise on behalf of their colleagues (and challengers), such as the effort by 12 Senators for for Sen. Tim Johnson.  And still others, like the various netroots pages, represent the collective voice of online communities in their efforts to support a wide range of candidates.

ActBlue Q3 Stats Week: Wednesday

On Monday we looked at some of the big picture numbers at ActBlue. Today, we’re
going to take a look at candidates and campaigns behind those numbers,
both for the 3rd Quarter and for ActBlue’s history. For the lifetime Top 10’s we’ve had some 08 candidates break into the list for the first time (outside of John Edwards of course) so I’ve started noting those candidates with the year these numbers represent. It is likely that some of the current Top 10 Lifetime candidates will be replaced by themselves if their 2008 totals exceed those from 2006.

Top 10 entities by # donors (Q3-2007)

Campaign Race # Donors
John Edwards President 10399
Darcy Burner WA-08 3421
Tim Johnson SD-Sen 2418
Eric Massa NY-29 1310
Rick Noriega TX-Sen 1156
Dennis Kucinich President 1100
Keeping America’s Promise PAC 990
Charlie Brown CA-04 968
BlogPAC PAC 928
Mark Warner VA-Sen 919

Top 10 entities by # donors (Lifetime)

Candidate Race # Donors
John Edwards (08) President 51239
James Webb (06) VA-Sen 16363
Ned Lamont (06) CT-Sen 12420
Claire McCaskill (06) MO-Sen 11090
Jon Tester (06) MT-Sen 10709
Paul Hackett (05) OH-02 10627
Joseph Sestak Jr (06) PA-07 9300
Harold Ford, Jr. (06) TN-Sen 7378
Eric Massa (06) NY-29 7187
Darcy Burner (06) WA-08 6584


Top 10 candidates by $ raised (Q3-2007)

Candidate Race Total Raised
John Edwards President $762,101.39
Mark Warner VA-Sen $412,823.19
Rick Noriega TX-Sen $159,201.92
Niki Tsongas MA-05 $149,263.00
Tom Harkin IA-Sen $143,429.27
Tim Johnson SD-Sen $126,405.55
Darcy Burner WA-08 $116,819.06
Dan Seals IL-10 $108,924.84
Linda Stender NJ-07 $101,545.08
Joseph Sestak Jr PA-07 $98,111.99

Top 10 candidates by $ raised (Lifetime)


Candidate Race Total Raised
John Edwards (08) President $4,170,250.41
James Webb (06) VA-Sen $894,042.36
Joseph Sestak Jr (06) PA-07 $868,287.01
Dan Seals (06) IL-10 $538,659.87
Paul Hackett (05) OH-02 $528,664.33
Tim Mahoney (06) FL-16 $507,553.44
Ned Lamont (06) CT-Sen $453,027.51
Eric Massa (06) NY-29 $415,751.68
Mark Warner (08) VA-Sen $408,158.19
John Morrison (06) MT-Sen $395,795.56

The State of the States

There is a rising force in the online community, often forgotten by the mainstream media because of their niche audience and dispersed nature. With over half a million readers a week they are on the front lines of grassroots battles. Their ears to the ground and their footsteps echoing in the halls of their capitals, they are often the first to report on issues and breaking news that eventually bubble up to the national discussion.

This force is the vast and ever growing community of state and local blogs, both those in the 50-state blog network and beyond. These blogs and their nearly 1000 authors are both a part of the national Netroots and unique local communities unto themselves. 

In some states with more established blogging traditions, networks of bloggers have created communications tools to facilitate the sharing of best practices and to coordinate messaging campaigns. Other blog networks have worked to grow readership and develop true community-oriented sites. This year has seen some of the most interesting developments as these blogging communities started flexing their fundraising muscle in state and local races. Even better, some have gone a step further by leveraging their online presence into offline action. This maturation of state blogging is truly exciting.

I’ve gotten in touch with some of the organizers of this new breed of activism in hopes that by sharing their experiences, we might inspire others to similarly innovative action.

California– California bloggers over at Calitics have led the way this year in innovative online fundraising. They started using YouTube videos back in March for their End-of-Quarter fundraising push via their  Calitics ActBlue fundraising page. They didn’t stop there, though. Calitics, and the larger CA blogosphere, held a real-world gatherings in San Francisco and Los Angeles at the end of the second quarter–which brought beer, politics, and fun together while raising close to $4,000 online for an offline gathering.They’ve done it again this quarter, expanding their real-world events to San Diego and bringing in new people and groups (such as Drinking Liberally) to the process. Here’s what some of the local bloggers had to say:

"Money always gets attention in polititcs, for better or for worse. But I think getting blogger-types mingling with candidates and local activists is also a really important reason for these events. That’s why working with Drinking Liberally has been so helpful. We really had a great commonality of interests with DL, and it’s been really helpful for both sides." -Brian Leubitz, Calitics

"I think my experience in San Diego has been different than SF or LA in that there’s no base of blogging here.  It’s a red area in general, and for the most part folks are still discovering how to use the internet as a political tool. For me, in an area like this, it seemed more appropriate to try and develop the online/offline connections and try to blur the distinctions a bit, which I think worked pretty well.  I’ve been to both sorts of events and they’re both vital, but I think that the real growth comes from sucking in people who can barely turn on a computer but still know their activism.  We need their experience and they need our megaphone." -Lucas O’Connor, Calitics

These efforts have raised $10,000 not only for candidates in California, but also for the recently formed Calitics state and federal PACs. That’s right — state blogs with Political Action Committees.  And they aren’t alone…

VirginiaRaising Kaine, one of Virginia’s oldest and largest blogs, is among the first blogs to have formed a state PAC to support and advance their efforts at the state level. With their state legislative elections held in odd-numbered years, the Virginia blogging community is already in high gear for critical elections that are less than six weeks away. So far this year, they have raised over $22,000 through ActBlue for candidates endorsed through a process that involved their site’s readers as well the editors. Raising Kaine’s prolific fundraising and their choice to endorse led to a change in how candidates interacted with the state’s blogosphere:

"I think we can say that candidates became more aware of us, and we were able to use our ActBlue fundraising platform to create incentives for candidates to engage with us.  I’m thinking specifically about our primary endorsement process, in which almost every candidate in the races we targeted participated in a live-blog, posted diaries, or participated in blogtalk debates. -Lowell Feld, Raising Kaine

The Virginia scene is a diverse and active one with a hot U.S. Senate race for a second cycle in a row. Their success have been an inspiration to another southern state which is looking to become the next Virginia.

Texas– Home to one of the largest state blogging communities in the country, the Texas bloggers at Burnt Orange Report, Texas Kaos, and Off the Kuff  and dozens of other blogs have made waves of late. After successfully drafting a U.S. Senate candidate to oppose Republican John Cornyn, they’ve been an active part of the state-wide effort that’s raised tens of thousands of dollars online through ActBlue this quarter.

Some of the state’s bloggers have gone further by banding together to form the TexBlog PAC.  Its mission is to connect online and offline activism in support of Democratic efforts to take back the Texas House, which, with last month’s party switch, is only 6 seats away from being a reality.

"By launching TexBlog PAC, Texas bloggers are taking online communication to the next level by showing quantifiable organizing skills.  Bloggers from all over the state have solidified their position and reputation with groups like the House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Texas Democratic Party.  Within the first two months, the Republican Party has already gone on the offensive by referring to us as an echo chamber that is unable to mobilize anything or anyone.  Because of these absurd attacks, the Democratic House Leader Jim Dunnam, has stood by us in the press and showed himself to be a friend of the texroots." -Matt Glazer, Burnt Orange Report

Matt and his fellow bloggers organized a real world fundraising event in Austin this week that drew over 150 attendees, a dozen state representatives, and sponsorships from various statewide organizations inside and outside of the Party. Including funds raised online through ActBlue, this hybrid offline/online effort netted over $10,000.

This effort is a great example of state blogging communities uniting with establishment and reform movements towards a common goal. Taking online energy to power offline connections will hopefully lead to more efforts in which various groups can find ways to work together that they may not have thought of before.

Connecticut– The northeastern United States proved last fall that it was tired of Republicans–moderate and conservative alike. They tossed all of their remaining GOP Congressional members save one: Chris Shays. This year, Connecticut bloggers led by contributors to CT Local Politics & MyLeftNutmeg, have rallied behind Democrat Jim Himes in hopes to make New England’s House delegation entirely blue in 2008.

Last week, the Himes campaign in conjunction with the area’s local bloggers promoted their ActBlue End-of Quarter Blograiser & Pub Quiz. Collecting contributions both online and at the door, this was another example of bringing online activists and supporters together at on offline event.

"We’re leaving no stone unturned asking for the support of bloggers, CT politicians, 4thCD Democrats, progressive organizations, and anyone else we can think of.  My hope is that this will be the first of many quarterly blograisers for Jim Himes.  After 2008 I’d like to keep them going for other candidates." -Melissa Ryan, CT Local Politics

Using Facebook and Party2Win in conjunction with an ActBlue fundraising page has allowed the campaign to connect various communities and cross-promote the event. The campaign helped to unite the netroots and grassroots with the elected officials and donors at the event, which should create great opportunities to network, share ideas, and build trust. In the end, over 40 people attended and close to $4,000 was raised.

My point in highlighting these efforts (and there are plenty more ready and waiting) is that the online community needs to take advantage of offline resources to further our collective agenda. The power of the netroots exists not only in our online networks and resources, but also by combining those efforts with offline activism. The state level netroots, dominated by activists tied into local scene, are key players and leaders in this new trend. Making use of ActBlue to track their fundraising, they are showing their power, challenging the media’s perceptions, and giving new depth to online activism.

That spells big change for the future of politics.

ActBlue Q3 Stats Week: Monday

The federal end-of-quarter (Q3) has come and gone! So let’s spend some time looking at our ActBlue totals, donors, and contributions. I’ll be breaking these apart for the 3rd Quarter and comparable periods as well as the lifetime of ActBlue. This is just day one of a whole week of interesting stats and data here on the ActBlue blog.

Total Contributions
Lifetime:        $29,027,471.89
2007 to date:  $11,377,358.58 (+ 48% from same period 2006)
Q3 of 2007:      $4,814,059.61 (+ 39% from Q2 of 2007)

The 3rd Quarter of 2007 represents 42% of all contributions so far in 2007 and nearly 17% of all contributions made on ActBlue over the least 3 years. To put this in perspective, the amount raised in this past quarter is about as much as was raised in ActBlue’s first 2 years. The totals raised so far in 2007, an off-election year, are outpacing those of the same period in 2006, an election year. And if you want to compare 2007 to the same period in 2005 (both off-years) then the increase is a staggering 1,015%. Wow.

Total Number of donors
Lifetime:        260,795
2007 to date:  102,523 (+45% from same period 2006)
Q3 of 2007:      40,551 (+ 40% from Q2 of 2007)

The 3rd Quarter of 2007 contains 40% of all donors to candidates through ActBlue so far in 2007 and nearly 16% of the number of individual donors on ActBlue since its inception. An interesting note, the average donor gives to 1.74 candidates per donation through ActBlue (because of donors’ ability to give through multi-candidates pages at ActBlue).

Average contribution size to all entities
Lifetime:        $64.13
2007 to date:  $94.95 (+ 49% from same period 2006)
Q3 of 2007:     $93.35   (- 6% from Q2 of 2007)

At the end of last quarter I made the prediction that "as individual fundraisers and grassroots
communities grow we expect the average contribution size to naturally
fall later in the cycle."
It looks as if in the short term this is turning out to be true. The average contributions size in Q3 is down nearly 6% from that of Q2 this year and while still higher than the lifetime average, is trending back towards the lifetime average of $64.13 per contribution. (Just to note, the average contribution size is not calculated using the number of "donors" but rather the number of "contributions"- the reason being that one donor can make multiple contributions in one transaction by giving through a multi-candidate fundraising page.)

Join us again tomorrow when we explore the topic of top candidates on the ActBlue Blog.

A Message from Niki Tsongas

The following is from MA-05 Democratic nominee and ActBlue user Niki Tsongas. Her election is tomorrow, October 16th.

I’m excited and grateful
for this unique opportunity to talk directly with ActBlue’s community
about why I used ActBlue’s online tools in my campaign and how online
activism is making the difference in our country and in my high stakes
Special Election for Congress in the Massachusetts Fifth.

Our campaign joined up with
ActBlue on day one, not just because it is a great solution, but because
the concept of community is changing so rapidly.  People are organizing
in so many new and powerful ways. Community is no longer simply those
who we live near, work with, or interact with face to face, but now
is also those we share beliefs with half way across the country or all
the way around the world. 

ActBlue has empowered Democrats
and the progressive community to not only connect, but to take action.   
The impact has already been profound—on my race and others—and yet
I expect we have only seen the beginning of how much we can change the
direction of our nation.  And it is this type of change that is
at stake in my congressional race.  Specifically, change in Iraq.

George Bush and my Republican
opponent, Jim Ogonowski, both believe the Iraq war is heading in the
right direction. If they get their way, we’ll continue to face an open-ended,
indefinite, ongoing commitment of our troops.  I, like so many
of you, fundamentally disagree with this approach. 

We need a new direction in
Iraq, and I believe the best way to bring our servicemen and women home
quickly, safely, and responsibly is to set a timetable, forcing the
Iraqi government to take responsibility for their future.

Like so many Republicans
that keep our troops in danger, my Republican opponent is blurring the
language around the war and failing to pressure the president. 
This is  a deliberate strategy—one pointed out by Chris Bowers
over on OpenLeft and
Charley on the Massachusetts blog Blue Mass Group.

Republican Jim Ogonowski
may have learned this when he attended the National Republican Congressional
Committee’s training session in May where Karl Rove was prominently

But I’m clear on my views
and not fooled by double speak, and my supporters and I are using the
advances in technology to create a visible community of people committed
to bringing the troops home.

Now I know many of you are
thinking that this race is an easy win for Democrats.  But let
me be clear, it is not.  The Fifth is and has been Massachusetts’
most independent district.  It has gone Republican in numerous
statewide elections, including for Mitt Romney in 2002. 

My race is the only special
election for Congress happening this month.  As such, it represents
a unique opportunity for all of us to come together and send a clear
message: we need to elect more Democrats and we want a timetable for
withdrawal for our troops and an end to this war.

I’ve encouraged all my supporters
to join me in setting up an ActBlue page to support my candidacy and
to call for an end the war.  Please join us.

ActBlue has been a powerful
tool for my race, and I expect it to be a powerful tool for the upcoming
2008 Elections as well.  Let’s send a message about our priorities
in this country.

Thank you for your consideration
and time.

Thank you to ActBlue.

Thank you or all you have
done and continue to do.

Warmest Regards,                  
Niki Tsongas                  
Democratic Nominee for Congress