2012 Numbers: First Quarter Roundup

If you’ve read the last few monthly numbers posts you’re aware that it’s been a good year for Democrats on ActBlue. But looking at our Q1 numbers, you can see that a huge amount of money is flowing to candidates and committees that don’t make our top 5 for the quarter. While everyone else is consumed with the ups-and-downs of the presidential race, we’re quietly helping Democrats up and down the ballot get what they need to win.

Let’s take another angle on that: if every seat in Congress were constested, you’d have around 500 committees getting money. ActBlue has 2,050 recipients. That’s the best expression of the kind of work we do, and how it ripples out across the country. Now, the numbers:

Number of contributions 333,928
Total raised $18,070,391.02
Average Contribution size $54.11
Committees receiving money 2,050


So, these numbers are the gold standard for year-over-year growth. While 2012 is a presidential election year and that pushes the numbers upward, you can glance at our 2008 numbers to see how much we’ve grown over the interim.

Q1 2008 Q1 2011 Q1 2012 Change
Contributions 52,149 180,537 333,928 85%
Volume ($) $6,945,713.73 $8,712,756.77 $18,070,391.02 107%
Mean Donation $133.19 $48.26 $54.11 12%
Committees 992 881 2,050 133%


Here are the five top committees, by number of donors, for Q1 2012.

Name Race Donors Dollars
DCCC Party Committee 103,592 $3,036,757
Elizabeth Warren MA-Sen 26,827 $1,310,832
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Party Committee 20,974 $423,339
Democracy for America Organization 20,602 $468,190
PCCC Organization 16,566 $166,313

4 Comments for “2012 Numbers: First Quarter Roundup”

Bruce Vandiver


These are my thoughts on the 2012 race. In particular, how the poor performance of President Obama is affecting the party and potential election of other democratic party candidates.
As a Democrat, I look at the future and see Obama running for re-election. Regarding the president’s re-election campaign, I am not excited; nor am I particularly happy. Sometimes I wonder what happened to the man who promised Democrats he would make sweeping changes to address problems and steer America in a new direction away from the failed policies of the past.
I look at America and see Guantanamo still open. I see America involved in more wars than president Bush started. I remember a candidate who promised to close Guantanamo and end the wars. I see vacant buildings and storefronts on the Main Streets of America and remember that conservative economic policies and lax regulation of our banking and investment sectors helped contribute to the economic downfall of 2008.
I remember strident conservative arguments that tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs for Americans. Over the 8 years of Bush’s presidency, those “tax-cut jobs” never materialized and millions of good-paying US manufacturing jobs were lost as Wall Street invested it‘s wealth in cheap foreign manufacturing. I think about Obama and I wonder why he has allowed the Bush tax cuts to remain in effect.
In hindsight, I realize that Obama has not pursued the promises he made to progressive democrats with any discernable degree of enthusiasm, and I wonder why that is.
I look at the world and see wide-spread social and political unrest spreading across many states of the mid east. This unrest has spawned conflict that President Obama has openly encouraged and in some cases directly supported with funding and military operations. Obama took advantage of America’s desire to end it’s involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has doubled the number of wars we are involved in. The governments of several mid east countries, including Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya have collapsed and been replaced, while Obama continues to act against the governments of Syria and Iran.
Obama claims his decision to use direct military force in Libya was intended to protect civilians. That tired old argument helped get us into the Vietnam War. You would think if Obama was going to lie, he could be more creative than that. Obviously he couldn’t re-use Bush’s dishonest claim about WMD (in Iraq), since Libya agreed to give those up a decade ago.
Regarding those “civilians”, I remember TV video footage from Libya of men driving pickup trucks with giant machine guns mounted in the back. I remember seeing men brandishing AK-47s and RPGs. Such men would have been deemed battlefield combatants and mercenaries if they were fighting us in Iraq and Afghanistan, but since they were fighting Gadhafi in Libya, they are “civilians”. This is intellectually dishonest. It angers me to think President Obama believes the public can be fooled and manipulated so easily.
Americans have no idea how much involvement the CIA may have had in these countries, -although the developments seem unlikely to have come about by pure coincidence, and more likely to be the result of careful planning and coordination. Like Iraq, none of these countries have attacked us. Remember when Bush said “Saddam must go, -he must leave Iraq”? Obama said the same thing about Gadhafi in Libya. It was a Freudian slip.
Regarding Libya, Obama has argued that the war powers act does not apply to him because we were not involved in “hostilities” as the legal term was intended to be used. The bottom line is Obama involved the US military in operations that were killing people in a foreign country that did not attack us, and he did so without the constitutional approval of Congress. In addition to this, Obama presides over a CIA drone program that targets and bombs groups deemed unfriendly in Pakistan and Yemen. Each of these individual acts tie together like a row of dominos leading ultimately to military action against Iran. Taken together, this strategic agenda seems to follow Dick Cheney’s plan for the mideast more closely than it reflects the will of the democratic base that elected Obama.
Is this what his Nobel Peace Prize was for? -War and murder for OIL and for Israel? I’m sure of one thing: We didn’t vote for this.
Many progressives have asked themselves where the change went. This man who rode a popular wave of change to the White House has applied that mantra of change almost entirely to Arab countries in the middle east, while little to nothing substantial has happened at home. Obama promised he would force a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but after 2 years he has not even gotten Israel to honor the obligations of it’s previous peace agreements.
In particular, the Road Map Agreement signed under GW Bush requires Israel to STOP ALL Settlement construction activity. This was Israel’s obligation under Phase 1 of the Road Map. Phase 2 would commence direct negotiations between the two parties for core issues and final status.
Obama’s insistence that the Palestinians go to direct negotiations with Israel without a complete stop of Settlement construction CONTRAVENES the Road Map Agreement that he pledged to honor and uphold when he was sworn into office. Worse, Obama used his veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel’s Settlement construction from a resolution that might have stopped it so that legitimate peace negotiations could proceed as per Road Map stipulations. Lastly, Obama has used the US leadership position in the Quartet to cripple it and prevent advancement of the agenda for peace it was formed to pursue.
More evidence that Obama isn’t a democrat: He said he would end the war in Iraq. He didn’t, although he had 2 years to do so. Finally the government of Iraq threw us out when the “Status of forces” agreement expired, -and now Obama wants to claim credit for ending the war. He didn’t end the war, it literally expired. Guantanamo is still open. Obama promised to close it. We all know that Obama promised to end the Bush tax cuts, but they are still in effect more than 2 years after Obama took office on a promise to end those tax cuts.
Obama also slow-walked DADT (don’t ask, don’t tell) for more than 2 years. He appealed a court verdict on a civil case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans that over-turned DADT as unconstitutional, warning of “significant and immediate harms on the government” if enforcement of DADT were ended.
And Obamacare you say? What about the health care reform legislation? Obama removed the public option from that bill. The rest is a recycled Republican plan originally proposed by a group of 20 republicans, including Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley, Robert Bennett, and Christopher Bond.
Obama seems to operate on the premise that Democrats have no choice but to re-elect him because the other guys, -the Republicans, -are worse. Well… I’ve got to tell you I’m NOT ready to re-elect Obama without a careful analysis of what he promised to do and what he has actually accomplished for the party that sent him. From my perspective, that analysis does not produce a favorable result.
We voted for a man who would end the wars, close Guantanamo, investigate allegations of torture, repair the economy, create jobs, reign in the un-regulated and immoral behavior of Wall Street, protect the middle class from job losses and mortgage foreclosures, and adjust our income tax system to better address the incomes of the wealthy that completely outstrip the current tax table brackets. We got none of that.
After generously bailing out the banks, Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, and big corporations including General Motors and AIG, -and after extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, Obama has done almost nothing for working class Americans who can’t find jobs and are losing their homes to foreclosure. In fact, if you look at the net results of the first 2 years of Obama’s administration, what you actually see looks a whole lot like George W. Bush’s third term.
Let’s be honest: We need an aggressive leader in the White House for the political war that is consuming this nation. We need someone who knows how to take the fight to the opposition, -someone who is willing to fight fire with fire. We DO NOT need a Compromiser in Chief, and frankly we are SICK of Obama’s polite exasperation when it comes to the tactics of conservatives who oppose our interests.
Instead of leading, Obama has consistently offered to compromise by taking the middle ground. Unfortunately, the political “middle ground” is utterly worthless as a descriptive term because conservatives have taken the middle ground and moved it several miles to the right. The middle ground is no longer in the center of the political spectrum. Obama has done nothing to take that middle ground and move it back to the place it used to be. Thus when he compromises, they move the middle further to the right, he compromises again, they move it again, over and over. -When that happens, we lose.
Aside from that, the lack of presidential words of leadership from Obama on issues like the right wing attacks against Acorn, Planned Parenthood, women’s reproductive rights, worker’s rights, public radio, union rights and collective bargaining, and new voter-ID laws that oppress or prevent hundreds of thousands of legitimate minority votes -are unforgivable. Obama has sat quietly as Republican governors in several states attempted to destroy some of the most prominent political organizing arms of progressive democrats.
Are you up for a sports analogy?
Regarding the economy, employment, banks, and Wall Street, Obama has operated like the ineffective coach of an arrogant football team that does not like him or his policies. This football team has become accustomed to making their own rules and serving their own corrupt interests, including fixing and betting on games for profit. They have no intention of allowing the coach to end their little party. To be rid of the coach and his policies, -once and for all, -the team has chosen to intentionally lose until the coach gets fired.
Think about that for a moment. What can the coach do? How far is he willing to go to assert the authority of his office and regain control of the situation?
In order to overcome this situation and be effective, the coach needs to walk out onto the field and shoot a couple of those players. Right there, under the lights, in front of the crowd. An example needs to be made of real consequences for disrespect of the coach and his position of authority. Otherwise, these “football players“, who are over-paid, arrogant, self-centered, and in many cases corrupt, -will forget that they play to defend their home field, their school, and the honor of the men who came before them, -and they will continue to place greed and personal profit ahead of fidelity and patriotism.
In my example above the football team is a metaphor for Wall Street and the corporate establishment. I’m sure some would ask me just how this “football team” has chosen to lose. Easy answer. Failing to produce American jobs while allowing more and more American worker’s homes to fall into foreclosure puts pressure on the middle class, who the “team” hopes will ultimately fire the coach. That’s Obama. These groups, including the US Chamber Of Commerce and dozens of corporate-funded PACs, have gone out of their way and spent millions of dollars to destroy Obama and the reforms that a majority of American voters supported. WE CANNOT ALLOW THAT.
For all of this, Barak Obama, the man we elected to LEAD us, has sat quietly, never raising his voice, never shouting, never using visual aids, charts, or graphs, never pounding the podium, never behaving as an angry leader. Working class Americans are angry. Many are calling for blood to run in the streets. And Obama? You’d think he was up there getting a political enema. So why isn’t he as angry as the democrats who sent him? Is he secretly working for the other side? Was he sent to betray us and gently compromise away all of our hopes and dreams? At this point, that’s almost the only thing that makes sense out of what he has done.
It seems to me that Obama’s real agenda was to eliminate Hillary Clinton in the primary, get elected by hitting the “demographic sweet-spot” as a black democrat who was opposed to the wars, then accomplish little to nothing for democrats, compromise at every opportunity with Republicans, continue the Dick Cheney plan for toppling the governments of every state in the mideast except Israel, and basically run out the clock on all the hopes and dreams of Democrats and working class citizens who voted for him.
He is either an ineffective leader who should resign, or he is a poser, -an imposter, a fake copy of Martin Luther King who betrayed his own party by secretly working for republican interests to advance a conservative agenda. He is systematically destroying the democratic party from the inside. If he won’t resign, he should be impeached by his own party. At least then we would get to see republicans who claim to despise Obama vote to keep him in office.
The sad thing is republicans win if Obama gets reelected, and they win if he isn’t reelected. Right now they are getting practically everything they could have asked for from a third term of the Bush administration. The Bush tax cuts are still in effect. Guantanamo is still open. Allegations of torture were never investigated. The war in Iraq ran it’s full term. Worse, Obama just signed an agreement commiting the USA to roughly 12 more years in Afghanistan.
Finally, Obama has done MORE to protect Israel’s illegal Settlement construction than George Bush ever did. Bush insisted in the Road Map agreement that Israel MUST stop Settlement construction before negotiations begin for final status and core issues. Obama has called on the Palestinians to renew negotiations even though Israel has refused to stop Settlement construction. That contravenes the Road Map agreement. Obama was supposed to enforce the Road Map agreement. Instead, he has used his veto in the UN Security Council to protect Settlement construction from a resolution that might have stopped it so that legitimate negotiations could proceed as per Road Map stipulations. This is an outrage for democrats, but if you’re a republican, what’s not to like?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against Obama because he’s black or because some idiot questioned his nationality. Far from it. I’m against Obama because I think he’s red. Obama has kept more of George Bush’s campaign promises than he has kept of his own. I didn’t vote for that, and I sure as Hell won’t vote for it a second time.
Lets get to the bottom of these questions in order to determine if we elected a democrat, or just a lying republican poser who fooled us into throwing away our future.
Please share these thoughts with anyone you think would have an interest.
Bruce Vandiver

Crazy Horse


Interesting comments. A rather cynical analysis backed up with honesty and facts. It’s kind of scary to think that manipulation of our politics has reached such a deep and twisted level, but you did raise several good points. I’m going to think hard about this issue before November but I’ve heard enough here to consider voting Ron Paul as a write-in.



Bruce is right on target. Ron Paul for me too. Obama has had his chance and it’s time for another change.



Actually, I enthusiastically donated to and voted for Obama in 2008, and I agree with much of what Bruce said. I won’t vote for Ron Paul (although I admire him for being consistent and honest). Unfortunately, that would help Republicans take the White House.
On Afghanistan, if you read the actual text of the recent agreement, it merely states that beyond 2014, our troops will require yearly re-authorization of funds to support and train the Afghan military forces. It makes no mention of actual troop levels. It also calls on NATO to keep troops there beyond 2014, and the agreement will remain in effect until 2024.
I’m extremely disheartened by the lack of leadership and fortitude exhibited by both Obama and the Democrats in Washington. Aside from what Bruce mentioned, Obama has also assassinated two American citizens WITHOUT any charges brought against them. His administration has also vigorously fought to keep Guantanamo detainees wrongfully incarcerated from bringing their case to court to win release.
But now I believe the problem isn’t with Obama, the problem is with us.
There’s a famous saying attributed to FDR, when in person, supporters once started in with their demands of him – “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”
Republicans are very organized in elections, but so are Democrats. But conservatives are VERY organized and assertive when it comes to shaping policy AFTER elections, and progressives just aren’t. And in fact, it’s more of a necessity for progressives to get this right than conservatives, because those who vote for Democrats are so all over the place ideologically. Democrats get voted into power, but there are always enough conservative Democrats to stall progress. We have to get really organized. And assertive. And even aggressive. We’ve seen the other side do this for too long now, and it’s time for us to not just match it, but obliterate it.
There are so many things that need to change, but we’re going to have to fight ALL THE TIME to change them, one by one.