We’ve covered the fundraising beat a little bit recently. Here’s a new piece of news: Obama may be shifting to a more conventional top-dollar fundraising model. Washington Post:
Sen. Barack Obama reversed a three-month fundraising slide by raising $52 million in June… Obama’s campaign would not say how much of his total was raised from small donors who gave online, and official reports are not due to be filed until Sunday. But an examination of his campaign schedule — which has been packed with high-dollar fundraising events — would suggest that he relied less on Internet donors than he did in February, when he took in $55.4 million…
The shift has been noticed by top Obama fundraisers, who have been busily planning the kind of big-money events the candidate was able to bypass in the heat of the primary campaign. Several said in interviews that the campaign is no longer seeing the kind of online bonanza that occurred during Obama’s long battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, when more than $1 million was flowing in each day.
One of the advantages Obama is seen as having over McCain is his freedom from fundraisers. The theory goes that because Obama raises so much cash online, he can spend his time holding rallies instead of high-end fundraisers, thus improving his chances of winning and decreasing his dependence on fat cats.
I’ve asked the Obama campaign if they are seeing a decrease in small donors. But the WaPo‘s analysis of Obama’s schedule suggests that no matter what the numbers say, the “freedom from fundraisers” advantage has been lost.