Alternate title: The Silence of the Unicorns.
Politico wrote an entertaining enough article on the way that Obama’s 2008 bundlers aren’t going to be Obama’s 2012 bundlers, for various and sundry reasons (including a certain disillusionment with the President); but they made one big howler in the third paragraph: “Campaign officials deny that there’s any “enthusiasm gap,” and indeed the new operation appears to be on track to raise as much money as Obama did in his record-setting 2008 campaign.” If you click the link, it’s to an older Politico article that gives a number of $86 million for Obama’s second quarter fundraising. Jim Geraghty goes off on this being representative of the President being on track: if trends continue Jim calculates that “[Obama] will raise $602 million, significantly less than the $750 million he raised in the 2008 cycle.”
But even that’s not true. The real number – the one that you have to use if you want to compare it to the $750 million total from the 2008 election cycle – was more around 47 million (the rest represents the DNC). Punch those numbers in (and assume equal distribution*) and Obama is currently looking at a $375 million dollar haul. That number will change – if for no other reason than the President’s total-to-date reflects a later absolute starting date this cycle, compared to the last cycle**8 – but for right now he’s in the hole.
*A counter-argument at this point is that the President is going to replicate the flow of his fundraising – which is to say: 14% of his total will occur in the first year, and the remainder in the second. With that metric: if it happens, then he is barely going to come within spitting distance of $750 million (note that Politico would then be correct by accident, given that they’re conflating DNC money with OfA money in their original post). To which I laconically reply: if.
**While simultaneously being an extremely early starting date for an incumbent. Welcome to politics: here’s your accordion.