Earlier today, I wrote a diary about the fact that more that one out of every hundred Americans have contributed to Obama's re-election campaign. To me, that fact alone is staggering. Amazing. Incredible!
What's even more incredible is that it would be so easy to get that number to one in fifty, or even better. (You are phone-banking this election, right???)
But what's even better than that is the bleak, bleak picture for the Romney campaign in comparison. Follow me over the fold for fun with numbers!
All right. This all started with Onomastic's Breaking: Obama hits donation milestone/Democratic Platform uses the term "climate change" 18 times, in which the Obama campaign proudly announced that total individual donors to the reelection campaign had topped three million (3,152,919, to be precise). In the comments, and with the help of teh google, I noted this meant that more than one in every hundred Americans had contributed:
Individual contributors to Obama's campaign as of Sept. 3, 2012: 3,153,000.*Which, as holeworm picked up on, happens to be pi to the eighth decimal, which is also why I was able to get a specific population number for that specific day ;-)
Current population of the USA as of Aug. 14, 2012: 314,159,265.*
But the numbers get even better than that. You see, in 2011, 20.1% of Americans were under 18 (that number is projected to be a bit larger for 2012). So, subtracting the under-18 crowd, the number of adult, voting age Americans is approx. 240,259,000. Which means:
# of individual donors to the Obama campaign=3,153,000 (being lazy, I rounded slightly)
# of adult Americans in Aug. 2012=240,259,000
or approximately 1.3 out of every hundred adult Americans.
Or another way to look at it, if every single Obama contributor convinces just one other person to contribute, it'll be one American out of every thirty-eight.
I want to repeat that:
If every single Obama contributor convinces just one other person to contribute, one adult American out of every thirty-eight will have contributed to this campaign.
But where it really gets fun is when we start looking at Romney's numbers.
Now, for some incomprehensible reason, the Romney campaign hasn't seen fit to release those numbers. An oversight, I'm sure -- they've been so busy, you know! However, we do have fundraising numbers, broken down by contribution levels, through July. You can find those numbers on the FEC site here. However, here's a quick cut'n'paste of the important ones:
Gee, I don't see a summary of that individual donors number. To be fair, Obama's page doesn't have one either. But we can do a rough estimate, at least, right? Of course we can -- it's just arithmetic ;-)
Contributions to Romney, Mitt Through 07/31/2012
Size of Contributions
$200 and Under $44,829,578
$200.01 - $499 $11,683,944
$500 - $999 $12,978,964
$1000 - $1999 $28,458,127
$2000 and Over $97,228,297
So, we have $44,829,578 in contribution amounts of $200 and under. Now, let's be reasonable and assume the average contribution was not $200, but $50. Which means that $44,829,578 translates into 896,591 donors.
For the $200-$2000 group, let's assume the average donation is right in the middle. Hence, for the $200-$499 group, we shall use an average donation of $350, for $500-$999, $750, and $1000-$1999, $1500. Not very scientific, I know, but I figured splitting the difference was as good a methodology as any. And using this methodology, our results are 33,382 donors, 17305 donors, and 18,972 donors.
Hmmmm. But ya know what? Let's keep being generous to the ol' Mitt, and assume that everyone in the $2000-and-over group gave precisely $2000. That gives us another 48,614 donors, for a grand total (through July) of 1,014,864 donors to the Romney campaign.
Except there's a little problem with that. You see that $838,181 number up at the top there? The one after the designation "PAC" (you know, the donation totals from the old-fashioned, pre-Citizens United PAC)? Yeah. Well. Ya see, that's included in that $2000-and-over total. How do I know that, you ask? Well, I stole a page from former President Bill Clinton's playbook. I added.
As generous as I might be inclined to be, somehow including PAC money in a calculation of individual donors just seems a little too generous. So let's take it out:
$2000 and Over: $97,228,297 - $838,181 = $96,390,116. There, that didn't hurt too bad, Mittens, did it? Chump change to you, right? Yeah. So now our $2000-and-up donor total, still assuming they each gave precisely $2000, is 48,195. There, see? Barely a loss of 400 folks. Votes. Whatever.
But what the heck, right? Let's go back to that very first total -- the $200-and-under total. You know, the Little People (TM). And further, let's assume they could only scratch out $25 apiece. Hot damn, that would mean you had 1,793,183 contributors in that $200-and-under category alone. Not so shabby, Mitt!
So, adding our $25 contributors to our $2000 contributors and everyone in between, that would give you 1,911,037 individual donors! Almost 2 million! WOO-HOO!!!
Except, of course, the odds that these numbers are correct are about as great as my odds of winning the next Miss America pageant. Let's use the same methodology up and down the scale, and use $100 as the average, small, under-$200 contribution. And suddenly those 1,793,183 contributors shrink to 448,295.
Ew. Ouch. Fine, let's go back to that $50 number, just to be nice. And let's keep giving you that $2000 average contribution among your top contributors. In that case, Mitt, you had, as of August 1, (and I apologize for being so rude as to tell you this number, but since you won't show it to us -- kind of like your taxes):
One million, fourteen thousand, and eight hundred sixty-four contributors.1,014,864.
Can I quote myself again? I want to. It's my diary. I'm gonna.
Individual contributors to Obama's campaign as of Sept. 3, 2012: 3,153,000.May I just add that I had the pleasure of listening to the Foo Fighters while typing the first half of this. Along with the immortal J.T. and the incredible, kick-ass, gorgeous and amazing Mary J. Blige!!!
Current population of the USA as of Aug. 14, 2012: 314,159,265.
Hey Mitt, how's that pi?
And, since we can no longer make individualized tip jars (which is maybe just as well, since I'd probably forget):
TIPS FOR PHONE-BANKERS! (and a h/t to the '80s)
If every single Obama contributor convinces just one other person to contribute, one adult American out of every thirty-eight will have contributed to this campaign.Let's turn a win into an epic ass-kicking!