12/15/2008 - With the power of the fundraising tsunami that swept President-elect Barack Obama into the White House becoming ever clearer, it's time to confront a possible myth and the new reality surrounding his success. Let's start with the myth.
Mr. Obama pulled in more than $750 million ($104 million between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4 alone) from more than 4 million contributors during his presidential run. That's the most money raised from the most people in history. The story goes that this was fueled by regular people who sent in $200 or less. Well, yes and no. According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute of the fundraising totals through August 2008, the percentage of people whose total donations to Mr. Obama aggregated to $200 or less was 26 percent. That almost matches President Bush's 25 percent in the 2004 election. But Mr. Obama relied less on donors who gave $1,000 or more (47 percent) than Mr. Bush (60 percent).
Read the complete editorial Campaign Finance on the Washington Post's Web site.