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A week ago, Ben Smith of POLITICO broke a story about an RNC fundraising presentation held in Washington D.C. The presentation featured a slide of President Obama as the Joker under the heading "the Evil Empire," bracketed by caricatures of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (available here, in .pdf format). A number of other slides contained quotes like "What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House or the Senate…? Save the country from trending toward socialism!" and urged RNC fundraisers to promote visceral giving based on "fear, extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration."

What's particularly striking about the RNC presentation is the tacit admission that, to paraphrase an old conservative bête noire, the only thing they have to sell is fear itself.

The reaction to that revelation was a collective shrug, as if that sort of fear-mongering were an ineluctable element of grassroots fundraising. It's not, and I ought to know. I built the grassroots fundraising program that sustained ActBlue across 2009–a slow year for political giving. Those donations, drawn from our users, funded the enhancements that enabled us to grow 84% in 2009.

When discussing grassroots fundraising, it's critical to understand the difference between creating urgency and sowing fear. Successful asks underscore the need for the target to give, but negative emotions are hardly the only way to get there. In writing our own asks, I've talked about increasing the influence of grassroots donors and building infrastructure more than I've mentioned Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, and donors responded better to the former. In fact, our most successful asks are those in which we demonstrate the relevance of grassroots actions on ActBlue to a larger Democratic agenda, or show them how the numbers they put up on ActBlue drive news stories.

In short, there are other ways to appeal to donors; by accepting the fear-based paradigm of the RNC as the sine qua non of grassroots fundraising we're buying into a false equivalence. The grassroots campaigns that take place on ActBlue employ a variety of fundraising strategies, often aimed at a specific goal. Some of the largest grassroots fundraising efforts on ActBlue have focused on granular policy details.

There's a cynical take on all of this that says it all reduces to
fear–fear that Republicans will win, fear that we won't get the
policies we want, fear that our voices will be drowned out by special
interests in Washington. That's a remarkably broad generalization to
apply to hundreds of thousands of ActBlue donors, one that is contemptuous of
the diverse reasons that move us to participate in American politics.

And, apparently, it's a view that the RNC subscribes to. The RNC strategy is built around juvenile imagery and a flair for terrifying GOP donors with the threat of a nebulous, abstract adversary–in this case, a wholly irrelevant political ideology. And rather than give their donors any idea what their money will be used for, the RNC leverages terms of art like "patriotic duty" and "front line mentality" to power an agenda of endless obstruction that negatively impacts the very donors they want to court.

In short, grassroots fundraising on ActBlue reflects the diversity of our user base, while the RNC seeks uniformity through terror. (An objectively socialist approach!) If we assume that these strategies are identical, we're neglecting the difference between real and phony populism, between framing and fiction.

On Monday, Democrat Bill Halter, currently the Lt. Governor of Arkansas, entered the AR-Sen race, challenging the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Blanche Lincoln. Later that day, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas and NBC's Chuck Todd had a brief exchange on Twitter about Bill Halter's fundraising numbers.

Chuck Todd:

Would be a big statement RT @markos: Netroots funding for Bill Halter (Netroots + MoveOn) now just shy of 500k

Markos:

Getting there. RT @chucktodd Progressives as fired up for Halter as Lamont RT @markos MoveOn+ActBlue just hit 500k for Bill Halter

Today, MoveOn reported raising nearly $600,000 for Bill Halter, while ActBlue displays a total of $170,000 and counting, raised by groups like the PCCC and DailyKos. In other words, the statement has been made. Now the hard part: what does it mean?

First, some context: Sen. Blanche Lincoln has a war chest of around $5M. Or, put slightly differently, Bill Halter raised 10% of an incumbent Senator's war chest in one day. If his supporters reach their goal of $1M [Edit--Halter reached $1M in 48 hrs] by the end of this week, that'll be 20% of her funds. Moreover, Halter's success produced a flurry of media coverage, further elevating his profile. Finally, the AFL-CIO committed to $3M in expenditures on Halter's behalf. As a result, Sen. Lincoln will have to spend some of her money to fend off what looks destined to be a well-funded primary challenge from a candidate with significant name recognition both in Arkansas and beyond.

Someone ought to send a memo to Chris Matthews, who lamented late last year that the Netroots weren't grown-up Democrats:

I don’t consider them Democrats, I consider them netroots, and they’re different. And if I see that they vote in every election or most elections, I’ll be worried. But I’m not sure that they’re regular grown-up Democrats… They get their giggles from sitting in the backseat and bitching.

Yet today we have an insurgent candidate propelled to the forefront of national politics in one day by the Netroots and MoveOn. That's a far cry from the sort of Monday-morning quarterbacking that so upset Chris Matthews in late 2009, and it's worth revisiting why that $770,000 boost happened.

Whether it's political campaigns or media outlets, the organizations that make a splash are the ones that have mastered the breakneck pace and inclusive nature of the internet. And yes, I have to count Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) among those success stories. As Americans, our admiration for the spectacle of political participation is innate, as evidenced by the breathless coverage accorded to the Tea Party movement. However, in our increasingly digital age, political participation shouldn't be solely the province of people waving signs. The communities that exist online are every bit as vital, contentious and arguably more diverse than the arbitrarily large crowds that descend on the National Mall. 

Halter's primary challenge represents the political emergence of these groups into an arena that, until recently, was the sole province of Chris Matthews' "grown-up Democrats." It's not a trend that can be reversed, either. The organizations involved know they have the reach and scope to affect national politics, and after Rob Miller, Alan Grayson and Bill Halter, candidates know it too.

That change owes a lot to the infrastructure that ActBlue built over the last five years. Without the means to translate the Democratic passion of these communities into language that politicians can understand: campaign funds. And you can't build it in the moment, either. You have to have robust structures in place ahead of time, so that when the surge comes you don't miss out on a single dollar. ActBlue handled both public option pushes, Rob Miller, and, heck, even Martha Coakley. Our work has enabled new voices to emerge, and emerge powerfully. It's the beginning of a structural shift in American politics, more powerful and enduring than any Supreme Court decision.

*Ah yes, the much-lamented horse race metaphor. I didn't see anyone else making one, so I figured I'd be the first. Considered but rejected: "Halter Loosed" and "Halter Given Free Rein."

Guest Post by Karl-Thomas Musselman

In the midst of a very busy start this year in the online fundraising and campaign finance worlds, we thought we'd take a step back and look at how things are going halfway through the 2010 election cycle. For that, I've pulled together some numbers and charts that put into perspective the activity at ActBlue.com in all of 2009 as compared to 2007, the most recent similar mid-cycle year.

[Ed--I pulled this graph out of the body of the post because, in KT's words, "When the 'worst' quarter of 2009 is on par with the 'best' quarter of 2007 you have to be impressed." But keep reading, there's plenty of great data below.]

Year | Total Raised | Contributions | Avg Contribution Size

2007   $16,781,745    125,601         $133.61
2009   $30,811,495    241,267         $127.71

Those are some impressive numbers. That's 84% growth in total dollars raised for Democrats, 92% growth in individual contributions, while seeing just under a 5% decline in the average contribution size. But in addition to the dollar and donors, what's even more exciting is this next batch of numbers which reflect ActBlue's mission to assist all Democratic candidates and causes and allow anyone to create personal fundraising pages. 

Year | # Unique Recipients | # Personal Pages w/Donors

2007   1017                  1233 
2009   1942                  3286

This is where we're democratizing the process of financing campaigns. The 91% increase in unique recipients means that in 2009 nearly twice as many Democratic candidates received a check for funds raised through ActBlue- which is impressive because the raw number of elected offices is a fairly static. Even more amazing is the 167% increase in successful personal ActBlue fundraising pages- skyrocketing to over 3,000 in 2009, a year when just a handful of states held their statewide elections (most notable being New Jersey & Virginia) and a greater number held municipal elections as part of ActBlue trial program. We'll be looking in more detail at this growth at the state and local level in future analysis.

Now for some charts. These compare a number of 2007 v. 2009 metrics on the quarter by quarter level.

That huge surge of contributions in the last half of 2009 was due in part to the upswing in the health care debate, the Joe "You Lie" Wilson effect on fundraising for Democrat Rob Miller, the No on One / Protect Marriage Equality campaign in Maine, and Netroots based fundraising flowing into the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, FDL Action PAC, and Blue America's PAC.

The drop in the average contribution size in late 2009 goes hand in hand with the increase in small dollar giving noted by a number of the committees in the prior graph.

That's just beautiful- don't you think?

This last graph is the best in my opinion- you can see the democratization of fundraising and empowerment of the average donor to raise small dollar contributions for the candidates or causes of their choice. That's what this is all about.

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

Back to Stats Week! Today we’re profiling the Top 10 (public) Fundraising Pages by Dollars and by Donors. What we love about these stats: our Top 10 lists include Democrats of every ilk, from elected officials to bloggers to organizers.

We’re going to take a look at the roundup this quarter, but before we do, we’d like to explain what ActBlue fundraising pages are and why they are so important to Democrats.

Fundraising pages are the face of fundraising on ActBlue.  You can create a fundraising page to raise money for one candidate or for a slate of candidates and committees. It’s easy and it’s quick– five minutes and you’ll be up and running– and ActBlue provides a number of tools to help you spread the word to your friends.

What’s important about this? Transparency. Any Democrat can raise money on ActBlue, and every time a contribution is made, the candidate can see who’s giving and how the donor got to the page. This transparency leads to accountability, and accountability to better government.

We’ll be posting lots of advice on how to fundraise in the coming weeks. For now, here are some links to articles on how to create an Event Page on ActBlue to manage large or small fundraisers, how one candidate creatively mobilized and energized his supporters, and, of course, how to start fundraising on ActBlue.

Top 10 Fundraising Pages by Dollars for Q2 2008

FUNDRAISING PAGE TOTAL CONTRIB.
1.fisa $279,370.20 
2.ricknoriega $242,353.73
3.orangetoblue $168,696.93
4.dansealsforcongress.com $128,909.08
5.heinrich  $97,735.64
6.blueamerica08 $78,591.22
7.thepen $77,444.83
8.bushdemocrats $59,641.72
9.fillricksboots $59,610.74
10.ethan $58,741.00

Top 10 Fundraising Pages by Donors for Q2 2008

 

FUNDRAISING PAGE DONORS
1.fisa  4853
2.ricknoriega 2068
3.thepen 1803
4.orangetoblue 1709
5.bushdemocrats 1313
6.blueamerica08 785
7.heinrich 550
8.fillricksboots 531
9.dailykos_kleeb 510
10.supportjoe 441

As we mentioned above, today’s Top 10 lists include pages created by Democrats from every part of the spectrum, from Democratic leaders and elected officials to insurgent Democratic candidates to networks of prominent bloggers and organizers.

One highlight for this quarter:

Two coalitions of major bloggers, including Orange to Blue, a project of Daily Kos, and Blue America, which unites bloggers from Firedoglake, Digby, Crooks & Liars, DownWithTyranny, and Salon.com, raised funds for dozens of Democrats from some twelve thousand donors.

Impressive work all around.

Bonus Round

We’ll end our Weekly Stats Report today, instead of tomorrow (Happy Fourth!) with another top ten list: Top 10 Pages with the Highest Percentage of Tippers.  The title of this list may be cumbersome, but these numbers are very important for ActBlue.

We’re a Democratic non-profit organization, not a business. We can make our tools available to thousands of Democrats because people like you leave us tips. These tips are used exclusively by ActBlue to help us get as much money to Democrats as we can.

That’s why we wanted to profile the groups of people who’ve helped us the most this quarter. The donors on this list truly understand what we’re doing at ActBlue. Many thanks to all!

Top 10 Fundraising Pages with Highest Percentage of Tippers  for Q2 2008

FUNDRAISING PAGE
(with 100+ donors)
PERCENTAGE OF TIPPERS
eschatonc08 70%
bluemajority 70%
dailykos_kleeb 66%
orangetoblue 64%
fisa 57%
bushdemocrats 56%
steveharrison 55%
donnaedwardsgotvfundspecialgeneralelection.com 55%
balloonsforobama 52%
supportjoe 52%

If you didn’t know about tipping before today’s post, you can still help ActBlue with our mission by donating or setting up a recurring contribution. We hope this provides you with some comfort and clarity about what we do and who we are, but if you still have questions, email us at info@actblue.com.

Thanks to all of you that made the second quarter of 2008 a smashing success. We look forward to breaking more records with you next quarter!

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

On this second of July, the anniversary of the Continental Congress voting to declare independence, we are happy to return to our quarterly stats report. Today, we’ll highlight the Top 10 Candidates by Dollars and the Top 10 Candidates by Donors for the second quarter of 2008, as well as the Top 10 Candidates by Dollars for the last day of the quarter, June 30, 2008.  That’s a lot of lists, but we promise that you will find all of them captivating.

Top 10 Candidates by Contributions for Q2 2008

CANDIDATE RACE TOTAL CONTRIB.
1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen $454,082.32
2. Kay Hagan NC-Sen $386,546.00
3. Mark Warner VA-Sen $242,116.75
4. Scott Kleeb NE-Sen $226,042.87
5. Dan Seals IL-10 $185,819.18
6. Chellie Pingree ME-01 $184,223.97
7. Joseph Sestak Jr. PA-07 $183,775.38
8. Martin Heinrich NM-01 $147,564.20
9. Gary Peters MI-09 $135,805.99
10. Barack Obama President $131,367.23

With so much attention given to the presidential race, it’s important to note the enormous success of these congressional and senatorial campaigns. ActBlue is bringing these campaigns to the forefront of Democratic fundraising. Yesterday, we mentioned the exponential increase in ActBlue’s overall numbers from the second quarter of 2008, and the above list shows where that volume comes from: Noriega and Hagan raised nearly two times the amounts raised by the top two candidates in our first quarter’s list of top ten candidates.

The dollars are impressive, but we believe pariticpation is the real important point and
we count metrics by the number of donors as well as dollars.  Campaigns
and committees are increasingly promoting this rationale, too. The
prominent blog Daily Kos, for example, set and exceeded its ambitious goal of netting 500 contributors for each of the candidates listed on their ‘Orange to Blue‘ page. 

Top 10 Candidates by Donors for Q2 2008

CANDIDATE RACE TOTAL DONORS
1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen 4818
2. Scott Kleeb NE-Sen 2565
3. Barack Obama President 2355
4. Shirley Golub CA-08 1791
5. Mark Warner VA-Sen 1762
6. Eric Massa NY-29 1717
7. Regina Thomas GA-12 1661
8. Kay Hagan NC-Sen 1652
9. Mark Begich AK-Sen 1550
10. Andrew Rice OK-Sen 1546

This list of Top 10 Candidates by Donors shows a significant increase in the donor numbers from last quarter– a happy stat for ActBlue Democrats.

As we mentioned in our Stats Report yesterday, ActBlue raised nearly $1 million on Monday, a groundbreaking last day for Q2 2008.  This should be no surprise to those of you who received emails encouraging you to contribute to Democratic campaigns or committees in their "final push" to the end of quarter. Because of the astounding success of this last minute fundraising, today we also wanted to highlight the Top 10 Candidates from the final day of the quarter. Whether they enticed their supporters with contests, t-shirts, match-challenges or last-minute pleas, these Top 10 Candidates have striking numbers to report.

Top 10 Candidates by Contributions on June 30, 2008

CANDIDATE RACE TOTAL CONTRIB.
1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen $76,332.83
2. Kay Hagan NC-Sen $70,781.20
3. Joseph Sestak Jr. PA-07  $52,609.88   
4. Martin Heinrich NM-01 $31,400.52
5. Scott Harper IL-13 $26,352.31
6. Dan Seals IL-10 $24,867.48
7. Mark Warner  VA-Sen $21,451.75   
8. Andrew Rice OK-Sen $20,968.26 
9. Ronnie Musgrove MS-Sen  $20,842.00
10. Bob Lord  AZ-03 $17,609.51

Remarkably, the last day of the quarter brought in 28% of Joseph Sestak’s total quarterly contributions, and 21% of Martin Heinrich’s.

Check in tomorrow when we profile our Top 10 fundraising pages, also by dollars and donors, and the Top 10 pages with the highest percentage of tippers, that help keep ActBlue going strong.

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

The end of quarter at ActBlue is always exciting, as we continue to watch our numbers exponentially soar. Last quarter, we held a contest (the prize being only glory and bragging rights) for who could most closely estimate our front-page number at the stroke of midnight on the last day of the quarter.  We all drastically underbid. I was told my bid was "very ambitious," (it was my first day at ActBlue, and as the new kid, I wanted to aim high), and I was  actually nine thousand dollars shy of our quarterly total! This quarter’s estimates were even more ambitious, but the real figures still surpassed our expectations.

As more campaigns boost their online fundraising efforts and supporters rev up for the race to November, the second quarter of 2008 brought in an unprecedented $13.6 million on ActBlue. This number is an increase of nearly 93% from the first quarter of the year.

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Q4 2007 (Oct. 1-Dec.31, 2007) $5,581,770.40
Q1 2008 (Jan.1-Mar.31, 2008 $7,091,127.39
Q2 2008 (Apr. 1-June 30, 2008) $13,674,897.81
Lifetime $55,994,192.05

This second quarter number is impressive in comparison to the first quarter of 2008, but to truly see the strength of Democratic fundraising in the past few months, let’s put these numbers in a broader context.

Photobucket

The above graph  shows the significant fundraising jumps since ActBlue’s inception in 2004. The spike at Q4 2006 resulted from the build-up to the 2006 election, during which Democrats gained a majority in Congress. As you can see when looking at 2007 and 2008, these numbers have steadily increased.

If you aren’t blown away by this data yet, please look at the below graph.  The segments in this graph represent the percentages that each quarter made up of ActBlue’s lifetime fundraising total of over $55 million. Remarkably, Q2 2008 brought in 24% of the total amount of money ever raised on ActBlue.  This second quarter was nearly as large as the first two years of ActBlue existence!

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And now, saving the best for last:  ActBlue donor numbers from the quarter. Democrats across the country should be extremely proud of these statistics, because it shows our party’s commitment to (small "d") democracy.

TOTAL DONORS
Q4 2007 (Oct. 1-Dec.31, 2007) 41,628
Q1 2008 (Jan.1-Mar.31, 2008) 54,918
Q2 2008 (Apr. 1-June 30, 2008) 65,089
Lifetime 422,427

The donor total from the second quarter of 2008 represents an 18.5% increase from the first quarter of the year, which shows that more Democrats are investing in candidates they believe in and are committed to changing the political landscape in Washington and in their home states.

As the number of donors skyrockets, we want the number of fundraising pages to soar as well.  You can help us reach our goal of adding 10,000 new fundraising pages by Election Day by starting your own fundraising page and reaching out to your personal network to raise money for Democrats.

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow, we’ll profile our top 10 candidates for the second quarter of 2008 by donors and dollars.

Tonight marks the end of quarter, and that means one thing here at ActBlue: the start of our quarterly Stats Report. Beginning tomorrow, we’ll publish three quarterly summaries of our progress here.

On Tuesday, we’ll publish raw numbers system-wide: dollars raised, numbers of donors, and more.

On Wednesday, we’ll profile our top 10 candidates by donors and by dollars.

On Thursday, we’ll profile our top 10 fundraising pages, also by dollars and donors, and we’ll profile the top 10 pages with the highest percentage of tippers.

And on Friday, we’ll… oh, wait. Nope. It’s the Fourth of July!

Looking forward to some great news tomorrow!

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Before heading out for the weekend (and in the midst of ActBlue’s move to new offices) I wanted to briefly touch on some presidential fundraising numbers compiled this week by OpenSecrets.org and the Center for Responsive Politics.

From April through June, donors who gave $200 or less [to presidential campaigns] accounted for 26 percent of the contributions the candidates collected from individuals. Compared to the first three months of this 2008 election cycle, small donors increased their giving to the candidates 84 percent and just about doubled their share of the money raised from individuals. In January through March, donors contributing $200 or less accounted for 14 percent of individual money.

The trend from Q1 to Q2 fundraising in 2007 has clearly been in favor of small donors. I see two factors at work here. The first is the natural pattern of presidential fundraising, where the first fundraising period consists of a high number of $2300 checks, the maximum contribution level. This ‘big money’ is tapped first to jump start campaigns but of course, results in an inability to re-solicit donors as they have already given the max amount. The second pattern is an actual increase in small dollar contributions resulting in increased total Q2 fundraising numbers (compared to the percentages shifting just because one area of revenue has declined). Clearly, those who have given small contributions before are giving again in addition to the new small donors being added to the pool of givers.

In our training materials and fundraising calls, we at ActBlue point out this benefit to campaigns. Small donors (often correlated to online donors) can be re-solicited throughout a campaign. Having a strong small donor base is equally important to contacting those who can give the maximum amount as it can sustain a campaign longterm. It distributes power to more individuals and diversifies the audience to whom campaigns are accountable. The following section from the aforementioned press release puts this in context.

Among corporate contributors in all industries based on contributions from employees, their families and political action committees, no company has invested more in these candidates than Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street firm. Goldman’s executives and employees have donated about $930,000 in the last six months. Investment firms Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase round out the overall top donors. 
      

But the biggest "contributor" of all at this point is the progressive group ActBlue, which facilitates individual donors pooling their money to finance Democratic candidates. By collecting mostly donations of $200 or less, ActBlue has directed more than $1.5 million to the presidential candidates, the bulk of it to Edwards.

In this case the aggregate of contributions through ActBlue represent no specific industry or collection of people other than an aggregate of donors to presidential candidates. Still, this expresses the shift in the distribution of giving from Q1 to Q2. (To note, the $1.5 million is figured from donations $200 or more- a couple million more exists in contributions less than $200 which are not required to be itemized.)
      

The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday that validated something we’ve been predicting would happen for a number of months now. According to their research, Democratic campaign in aggregate are now enjoying a $100 million advantage in fundraising.

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.

The total raised to date is quite astounding, with the leading financial contenders for president on the Democratic side raising more funds already than all of the Democratic primary candidates did combined for the totality of the race in 2003-2004. Not only could 2008 be a billion dollar election but quite possibly double or triple that. But where will all that increase in funds come from?

If their fund-raising advantage continues — so far, Democrats have
been pulling in about 58% of overall donations to federal-office
seekers — they will have more resources for pricey advertising,
organization building and voter outreach next November to buttress
their edge in the polls. Moreover, Democrats’ focus on small donors
leaves them room to raise more cash over the next year, since many
contributors have yet to hit the legal limit of $2,300 per candidate
per election, and could potentially keep giving.

While this cycle will see more donors that give the maximum allowed to federal campaigns, we are seeing an explosion of new donors buying into the political process at smaller levels- each with the capacity to give more throughout the cycle. During the last fundraising quarter, we reported that the average contribution size to all candidates through ActBlue was right at $100 and that the median size was $45. We’ll see those lower end donors continue to give through the cycle. The WSJ highlights this very point with their own research.

Only half of Mr. Obama’s donors have hit the giving
limit for the primaries; about a quarter have given him less than $200,
according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group
that analyzes campaign contributions.

By contrast, about two-thirds of those contributing to
the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have already hit
their maximum; just 8% have given less than $200.

For comparison, I ran the numbers for a sample of about 40 major federal campaigns that used ActBlue to collect their online contributions in Q2 and found that on average, 22% of the funds raise in the quarter were online contributions. In a couple of cases the online percentage went over 50%.

Another important point is the increasing percentage of online giving as a share of campaign fundraising.

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.

Many Democrats give by clicking links to candidates on
the Web site ActBlue, a clearinghouse for small donors. ActBlue has
raised $5.6 million for Democratic House, Senate and presidential
candidates, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a Web site that tracks
donations. It was the single biggest source of contributions to the
party’s presidential candidates during the first six months of the
year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In a report last
week, the center said ActBlue donors gave more in aggregate than the
total from employees of heavy corporate contributors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Over the past week we’ve looked at a number of statistics from ActBlue.com, everything from some raw numbers, top candidates, and top fundraising pages. To finish out our series we’re going to take a look at one of the most important areas of ActBlue- state level fundraising.

It’s true that federal activity made up the majority of 2nd Quarter fundraising at ActBlue- 90% in fact. That’s no surprise as federal races have always made up the bulk of ActBlue activity and tend to get started sooner than state legislative races.

That said, state level fundraising at ActBlue has huge potential for 2008 and is already showing enormous growth. In the 2nd Quarter, $323,638 was raised for state candidates in 15 states. (To note- in Q2 2005, just under $100,000 was raised across ActBlue for *all* candidates federal and non-federal.)

The charts below break out the numbers by state and detail the cluster of activity in Virginia (which has 2007 elections) and California.

Q2 $ Raised by State   Q2 Donors by State   # of Recipient Campaigns
$ Received State # of Donors State # of Campaigns State
148,856 CA 650 VA 40 VA
120,308 VA 551 CA 15 CA
23,774 IL 145 IL 6 TX
16,990 MT 122 MT 5 PA
6,877 MO 43 PA 4 MT
2,705 PA 35 MO 4 NM
1,840 WI 17 WI 4 WI
1,210 MS 16 OH 3 NH/OH

In addition, the following table is of the Top 10 state candidates by $ raised on ActBlue in the 2nd Quarter.

$ Raised in Q2 Candidate Office
74,254 Mark Leno CA-SD-03
31,136 Joe Alioto Veronese CA-SD-03
28,267 Karen Schultz VA-SD-27
23,739 Daniel Biss IL-HD-17
15,540 Carlos Del Toro VA-HD-88
12,295 Donald McEachin VA-SD-09
11,745 Steve Bullock MT-Atty Gen
11,325 Jay Donahue VA-HD-86
8,668 Rick Gonzales CA-HD-80
8,175 Connie Brennan VA-HD-59

We’re looking forward to helping more candidates in the 23 states where we are active. If you are a campaign in the following states, (Alabama, Arizona, California, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming) contact us at info@actblue.com to get set up with ActBlue and start fundraising today!

That concludes our Q2 Stats Week with ActBlue. If seeing more if this type of data is something you find valuable on an ongoing basis, leave a note and we’ll see about developing a more automated system to present select data.

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