As the primary season has continued to wear on, some supporters from the not-Mitt Romney voting bloc are deciding to fold up shop and reluctantly begin shifting their support from their candidate of choice. They do this largely because they’re worried that if conservatives don’t unite around a candidate soon, President Obama will bury the eventual nominee in attack ads and negative press using the billion dollars he saved up while Republicans were having at each other all spring and summer. These worries may not be as valid as once thought.
As the monthly fund raising totals for the President’s reelection campaign continue to trickle in, they seem to indicate that Democrat donors are not all that motivated to give to a campaign that doesn’t yet have a clear-cut opponent. January’s fundraising totals for the President were about $29 million, down from his efforts in the 2008 election cycle. Similarly, February also shows a sitting President that is unable to keep up with the fundraising numbers he had in 2008, when he was merely a candidate in the Democrat primary.
ABC News reported the fundraising totals for February showing that Obama and the Democratic National Committee pulled in $45 million dollars, down from $56 million in February of 2008. It’s certainly nothing to scoff at, but it has him far off the the billion dollar pace the Obama campaign was once hoping for. Additionally, not all of this money is reserved solely for the President’s reelection campaign, and it is likely that Obama will see a number similar to that of his January fundraising take (h/t HotAir). It should be noted that in these months where 2008 Obama continues to outpace 2012 Obama, he was still battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination, who was taking up her own substantial share of available Democrat donor dollars.
So why the poor fundraising? Where’s the billion dollar haul? The reason seems to be two-fold to me. Obviously there is the fact that the Obamamania of 2008 has long since worn off and been replaced with a sobering reality that conveys any number of passionate feelings, though “hope” is not likely among them. But the low fundraising also appears to be caused by the absence of a single figure around which the Democrats, and the President’s campaign, can unite against.
Despite many in the Democratic Party’s contempt for much of what Republicans stand for, there just isn’t as much satisfaction in donating to the President’s campaign to beat “generic Republican man.” Because of this, Obama’s fundraising totals have waned.
The poor fundraising by the Obama camp seems to contradict all the doom and gloom rhetoric the Republican establishment espouses on a daily basis about the potential consequences of conservatives not immediately settling for the “inevitable” Mitt Romney. It appears that a brokered convention may actually help the eventual nominee and create a far less one-sided fundraising landscape in the general election, an unintended but welcome consequence.
There is no real strategic reason to not continue supporting your candidate of choice, whoever it may be. A vote that isn’t for Mitt Romney is not merely a protest vote by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, those votes may further stymie President Obama’s fundraising numbers long into the summer, ultimately helping the eventual Republican nominee.