The ActBlue Blog: 2012 Numbers: $9m in May

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Jun 14, 2012

2012 Numbers: $9m in May

The run up to the Wisconsin recall election pushed our May numbers skyward to over a quarter billion dollars (!!) by the end of the month. Sure, we would've preferred a rather different outcome, but there's a lesson in Wisconsin that's more than gloom and doom: small donors have the power to create a national political event.

From the protests through both rounds of elections, this has been a story driven by small donors, including those who sent millions to Wisconsin Democrats using ActBlue. The top five entities for May all come in with average donations under $40. That kind of engagement forced the GOP to commit astronomical sums of money to a race that wouldn't have existed otherwise.

In short: grassroots donations sustained a state-level political struggle that lasted more than a year, and elevated it to national prominence. That's a win, even if the returns didn't go our way.

Number of contributions 208,071
Total raised $9,049,579.70
Average Contribution size $43.49
Committees receiving money 1,794

Here's what May 2012 looks like compared to May 2011 and 2008 (last presidential election year). Percentage change is year over year:

May 2008May 2011May 2012Change
Contributions 18,290 45,034 208,071 362%
Volume ($) $3,095,177.15 $2,627,655.58 $9,049,579.70 245%
Mean Donation $169.23 $58.35 $43.49 -25%
Committees 878 721 1,794 149%

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

Name Race Donors Dollars
Tom Barrett WI-Gov 43,137 $1,509,842
DCCC Party Committee 41,138 $963,184
Democratic Party of WI Party Committee 24,158 $657,544
DFA Recall Campaign Organization 12,887 $309,818
PCCC Organization 12,395 $121,737


A few comments for Andrea “FORWARD GOBAMA 2012”, RE your remarks from the last article (First Quarter Roundup) which was closed before I could reply. First, please don’t question my patriotism nor my commitment to this party, -I don’t question yours. I'm a democrat, and I have used ActBlue many times to contribute to causes I support. Second, it does appear that some others agree with my concerns regarding the president.

I commented that it seems Obama’s real agenda in the 2008 election 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 Dick Cheney’s plan for toppling the governments of every state in the mid east except Israel, and basically run out the clock on all the hopes and dreams of Democrats and working class citizens who voted for him.

I would add that his real agenda also included making sure that alleged torture of POWs and battlefield detainees was never investigated. To be clear, I’m suggesting a political quid pro quo agreement between Obama and the previous administration or the GOP.

Andrea replied: “I had to double check that Bruce's comments were not posted in 2010 instead of 2012. Maybe you guys should double check what Bruce is talking about because there are so many mistakes in his rather long comment. Talking about getting rid of Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race, WHAT? She is the Secretary of State and is not running for President.”

When Hillary Clinton and Obama ran against each other in the primary, it was for the 2008 presidential election. Hillary was not Secretary of State then, she was a senator from New York. Stop playing dumb and stop muddying the water with BS.

I offered a critique of Obama’s policy regarding Israel and the mideast conflict:

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.

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.

Andrea replied: “As for Israel I believe keeping peace with them is in our favor especially with the Iran nuclear problems that are at hand. If we did not have the backing of Israel we would be bombed by Iran on our soil right now.”

Wow. So we would be bombed by Iran on our soil right now if Israel was not protecting us. Let me pause for a second to let that one sink in. I have to ask, do you actually believe that, or is it just hyperbole from AIPACs talking points memo?

OK... moving on. Regarding Wisconsin, can anyone explain why Obama couldn’t show up there when his party needed him? Honestly, he was in the state next door, but just couldn’t make it. What gives? My opinion: That was the decision of a political coward. We need a leader who will stand with us in the difficult moments, not one who uses us as a convenient stepping stone when it suits his agenda, then goes AWOL when things get difficult for us. Obama says he needs to know that "we have his back" in the coming election. Why didn't he "have our back" in Wisconsin?

As I said, 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.

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.

Bruce Vandiver

Dead silence. Interesting. In this case, does silence imply assent? -Qui tacet consentit?

Perhaps nobody wants to discuss these issues because nobody wants to acknowledge the truth: Obama = not a real democrat.

We are stuck with him, and we have no reliable method to force him to honor his progressive promises. Worse, we have no reliable method to prevent him from giving republicans practically everything they could have wanted from a third term of the Bush administration.

And worst of all, allegations of torture of POWs will never be investigated. That's Obama's biggest gift to republicans, and certainly one they don't deserve.

Bruce Vandiver

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