Friday, March 19, 2004

Kerry Fundraising

Let's hope the optimism in this article about the ability of Kerry and the Dems to fundraise actually understates their potential.

Sen. John F. Kerry is setting the stage to raise as much as $100 million for his presidential campaign by seizing control of his party's fundraising machinery, winning the support of top money people for vanquished rivals, and attracting thousands of new small donors via the Internet, according to officials inside and outside his campaign.

In the two months since the Jan. 19 Iowa caucuses, the Massachusetts Democrat's campaign has pulled in more than $26 million, including $18 million over the Internet, aides said. Just two weeks ago, the campaign had announced a goal of raising $80 million -- and was greeted with initial skepticism among some party fundraisers.


Although Bush is virtually certain to raise more money than Kerry -- and perhaps double -- Democrats are no longer concerned that the president will spend the Democratic nominee into the ground even before most voters tune into the race months from now. Some Republicans privately express concern that Bush's money advantage will not prove invincible, as they had once believed.


First, Democrats are more united than they have been in decades, and the base of Democratic donors, especially new and smaller ones, appears deeper than most party officials originally projected.

"George Bush promised that he would be a uniter and not a divider," said Alan D. Solomont of Massachusetts, one of Kerry's top money men. "The one group he has united are Democrats."

Second, Democrats are copying Bush's successful model of creating scorecards for their top fundraisers, and have added special Internet tracking systems so that the people who raise large amounts get credit from the campaign and their peers.