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.
Current population of the USA as of Aug. 14, 2012: 314,159,265.*
*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 ;-)

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:

Contributions to Romney, Mitt Through 07/31/2012

Summary
Contributions
Individual     \$164,860,311
PAC     \$838,181

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

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 ;-)

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.
Current population of the USA as of Aug. 14, 2012: 314,159,265.
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!!!

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)

Remember:

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!

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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### Good work n/t(9+ / 0-)

The definition of INSANITY: Voting Republican over and over and over and expecting the economy to get better.

• ##### Arithmetic - ya gotta love it! n/t(4+ / 0-)

Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.

• ##### Heh ... Good work(7+ / 0-)

and of course you can make an individual Tip Jar.

Right before you hit "Publish", go to the bottom of the page and use the lower fo the two "Comment" buttons to add a comment.

That will replace the auto-TJ with a tip jar of your own choosing .... You can even simply call it "Tip Jar.

The only difference is that folks will be able to reply directly to it.

I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
but I fear we will remain Democrats.

• ##### Thanks, twigg!(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
twigg, JeffW, science nerd

I hardly ever actually write here -- for all the years I've been a DK member, I still don't know how half of it works!

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### GREAT analysis. Recced for...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe, Woody

The h/t to me. :) (Kidding.)

No, but really, it needs to be pointed out how much the LOW-LEVEL fundraising is different between Obama and Romney. Not just the secret money flowing through Super PACs and the like.

Lots of numbers to go through, thank you for finding and crunching the raw data. :)

π!

• ##### Well heck, that part's easy.(6+ / 0-)

All you have to do is go to the FCC page and compare:

MITT ROMNEY

Individual     \$164,860,311
PAC     \$838,181
Party     \$0
Candidate     \$0
Federal Funds     \$0
Transfers-In     \$27,282,870
Disbursements     \$162,800,612
Cash On Hand     \$30,181,373

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

BARACK OBAMA

Individual     \$262,898,535
PAC     \$0
Party     \$0
Candidate     \$5,000
Federal Funds     \$0
Transfers-In     \$85,450,000
Disbursements     \$262,542,110
Cash On Hand     \$87,747,678

Size of Contributions
\$200 and Under     \$214,719,455
\$200.01 - \$499     \$30,147,089
\$500 - \$999     \$27,821,031
\$1000 - \$1999     \$30,194,954
\$2000 and Over     \$65,472,228

Overall fundraising numbers as of Aug. 1? Right there, above.

Romney - individual fundraisers: \$164,860,311
Obama - individual fundraisers:  \$262,898,535

It's a thing of beauty :-) And if you'll forgive me, my guy's coming up in just a minute here! Cya all after the convention!

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Yeah, it's the surmising on the possible numbers..(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
defluxion10, justsayjoe

That makes this interesting to me. :)

It's like analyzing Mitt's and Paul Ryan's tax policies. Even given the most generous assumptions, they do not work.

Even with the fairly generous numbers you toss in, the fundraising numbers suck (as far as small donors go.) If you're harsher and "fair", it looks even worse!

• ##### Yeah, that's when I really started having fun.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
JeffW, holeworm

Even cutting him a pretty good-sized chunk of slack, Obama has three times the contributors Romney does. Three times.

How's that gonna translate in votes, do you think? ;-)

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### And, may I add,(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
holeworm

FIVE TIMES the amount raised in 200-and-under contributions. Hot damn.

Okay, video's wrapping up, I'm back to the convention!

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### I'm really interested in poking into this more...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

There don't seem to be any good stats. Both of us had trouble finding stats at all, from the previous diary. Seems like the Romney campaign wants to hide the donor #s from other months, I imagine since it points to "regular" Americans who can afford < \$100 donations NOT contributing, while those can are.

Please do update this if you happen to find any additional data yourself. :)

Of course, third-party fundraising does skew all of this. But again, everyone's talking about that. Nobody's talking about Mitt's immediate donors all that much, past occasional mentions of how Obama has more small donors or whatever.

• ##### Luckily, corporations still can't vote :-)(0+ / 0-)

And last I checked, all electoral shenanigans aside, we still live in a democracy -- however damaged that democracy may be. So while they can throw a gazillion dollars at shaping public opinion, they cannot (yet) dispense with public opinion. At the end of the day, the numbers that count are the votes.

And yeah, I'd love to see more hard comparisons, too -- although I think the huge disparity in number of contributors, coupled with the fact that in terms of dollars, Obama's outraised Romney by a hundred million dollars, tells the meat of the story.

Moreover, Obama's current donors, the majority of whom are small-numbers donors, aren't even close to the legal campaign contribution limits and therefore eligible to contribute more. Romney, on the other hand, is running up against a very nasty wall -- the lion's share of his fundraising, in terms of dollars, has come from people who are legally prevented from donating again. I predict a nasty shortfall in campaign cash (as opposed to independent, SuperPAC cash, which technically the campaign has no access to or control over) for Romney by the end of this.

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### It is much better for Obama.(5+ / 0-)

His numbers fit a power series where the number of donors go down by a factor of two as the maximum donation size goes up by a factor of two. The maximum individual donation is \$5000. Obviously the series is truncated at some minimum donation, maybe \$5 or \$10. If it is \$5, then Obama has around 15 million donors; if it is \$10 then he has around 7.5 million. for what it is worth, \$5 fits better in my simplistic spreadsheet.

Romney's number are skewed much higher. He has gotten much lower total donations in the lowest range, which is where Obama gets both most of his money and where the vast majority of donors are.

I would guess that Romney has 1/4 the number of donors that Obama has.

• ##### Yeah, Romney's numbers(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Andrew F Cockburn

are waaaaay out of whack with standard fundraising models -- even Carnegie hall has a zillion contributors for every sponsor, and a hundred sponsors for every patron. Obviously not real numbers nor even possibly the right contribution-level designations (been a VERY long time since I've been there) but it is an organic and normal progression for fundraising -- a hundred people who'll give ten dollars, ten people who'll give a hundred dollars, one person who'll give a thousand dollars. That's not what we're seeing in Romney's numbers, and the skew of his support translates hideously (for him) when you look at it as a reflection of committed votes.

Seriously -  these guys are educated, they do have brains (even if I don't like the beliefs and attitudes said brains are filled with), Karl Rove, while a despicable human being, is no dummy by any stretch -- how can they be so colossally blind to sheer, basic mathematics???

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### They're relying on the GOP SuperPACs.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe

Which have effectively unlimited funding.

Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

[ Parent ]

• ##### SuperPACs don't vote, either.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

Thank God.

I have to admit, in terms of rebuilding our democracy, I see two priorities that loom over all the others: voting-machine standardization and security (including paper trail) and the overturning of the Citizens United decision -- which requires a non-bought, democratic president in office to appoint replacement SCOTUS judges.

Then, of course, we have disenfranchisement, partisan redistricting, etc etc etc to battle against. But until the first two are addressed, so far as I'm concerned our republic is hanging by a thread.

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### SuperPACs dominate the flow of information.(0+ / 0-)

Which can be determinative.  I agree about voting machines - both the machines that physically process votes and the computers that tabulate the numbers received from them.  We have to be fully prepared for outright fraud by the GOP on a fundamental level - fully prepared to have Republican state elections officials announce fraudulent results that differ markedly from exit polling, and always in their own favor.  Our candidates have to be prepared to stand up in that event and cry foul.  I diaried about this:

Memo to All Democratic Candidates: You Are Not Allowed to Concede Without A Real Vote!

Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Yes, they can...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

..which is why I'm here to improve my knowledge about politics and political issues, rather than watching CNN, for example. Between the corporatization of the news industry in the US and the SuperPacs, yeah, disinformation is a real problem. I'm not meaning to dismiss or diminish that, simply to point out that even with all that, you still can't fool all the people all the time (see Romney, M.)

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### I should add, simply by your use of terminology(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Andrew F Cockburn

I can tell you were decidedly more qualified to write this diary than me! But I muddled through somehow :-)

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### You did it; I didn't.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
greenbird

That counts for more than any familiarity with math terms.

And you did a good job.

• ##### Let's see if the RW is ready for(7+ / 0-)

pi wars   ........

--Slan

• ##### π you. n/t(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe, JeffW
• ##### PI WARS!!!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
laurak, Ginny in CO

Mmmm, blueberry. No, wait -- chocolate cream.  Oh, hell widdit, I'm feeling incredibly patriotic after that phenomenal speech by our fantastic POTUS --

APPLE PIE!!!!! Warm and yummy, with cinnamon and ice cream melting slowly on top! Apple pie for EVERYBODY!!!!

Mmmmmm!

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Pi wars!!!!! Wooooot!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe, Ginny in CO

{Tosses 2pr at jfdunphy.}

Ha! In your face with a circumference!

So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Then one's complexion could become(0+ / 0-)

--Slan

[ Parent ]

• ##### Fun diary!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
defluxion10, justsayjoe

sure arithmetic can be fun, especially when its in our favor.  You can count me in for \$5 a month since June.  Do you think I am counted as 5 contributors or just one?

• ##### By everything I've been able to ascertain,(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Woody, holeworm

you are counted as one contributor with five contributions. I'd still want to call the Obama campaign to absolutely ascertain that, but their press release seems to be pretty darn clear on the subject, considering that they list a specific number of contributors who've contributed more than once.

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### From what I understand and have read...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe

You are indeed counted as one contributor, IF you keep your employer, occupation, location, etc, all the same. If you don't, you'd be probably counted as multiple people. At least as far as the FEC cares, it seems.

Really, it doesn't matter, though. If you are able to give enough money to worry about being "multiple contributors", you'd probably just want to give money to a Super PAC or other 3rd party group. :)

(And hell, for anyone who can afford it, please do fund Priorities USA and the like. Super PACs may suck, but we kinda have to spend right back in the same way to have any hope of making them go away...)

• ##### Fundraising link would be good ;-) n/t(0+ / 0-)

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Romney's begging for money(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Woody, justsayjoe, Gator Keyfitz

My husband registered R in order to vote in a primary once, and so we get the calls.  Romney's robo call - with his voice - has called us more than once asking for a donation of \$3.

I usually let the call go all the way to the end, in order to waste more of their time.

Romney surely won't spend his money on his campaign...

www.tapestryofbronze.com

• ##### Out--STANDING!!!!!(0+ / 0-)

YES!!!

And didya notice that \$5000 donation to himself from our POTUS? Investing in himself, in America, in the future. YAH!!!

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Meant to add -- that \$3 donation...(0+ / 0-)

Yeah. Someone in the Romney campaign's been crunching the same numbers I have. That's not cash, that's a "PLEASE let us say we have more donors!" plea.

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### So that's what that scene in Wayne's World(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
justsayjoe

was in reference to!  I never knew that!

Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

Recommended by:

Sarah Palin? Just say Joe.

[ Parent ]

• ##### I Get it But,(0+ / 0-)

what is the enthusiasm number for Dem voters?

Sen Levin was on the Hear and Now show on NPR yesterday- he indicated recent poll showing 3 out of 4 non voters stating they would vote for Obama if they were voting. but they are not.

I don't see much enthusiasm in that number.

"A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt