Bush again is spurning public funding in the 2004 primary, and he is shattering his money-raising pace of four years ago.And yet the Democrats are the "party of the people", right? Even though they get most of their money from mandatory labor union dues, and rich elites like Hollywood movie stars and trial lawyers? Although the WaPo article focuses on the $2,000 limit, the fact is that Republicans lead Democrats in fundraising at every level except for contributions of over $100,000.
Democrats say they cannot compete in such a climate. And it's not just 2004 they worry about. The nation's new campaign finance law, which greatly rewards a candidate who can gather piles of $2,000 checks, strongly favors Republicans. That advantage seems unlikely to vanish in 2008 and beyond, several analysts say. ...
The nine Democrats seeking the 2004 nomination are in a bind, party activists say. Even if they choose to abandon public financing and the spending limits that go with them, they can raise nowhere near the sums that Bush is hauling in, these sources say. Some of them contend that only a Democrat with considerable star power and nearly universal name recognition -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), perhaps -- will be able to compete under the rules Bush is writing.
The recently enacted McCain-Feingold law bans unlimited "soft money" contributions to national parties, depriving Democrats of a key source of cash from unions and Hollywood figures. The law limits donations to presidential candidates to $2,000, and Republicans have far more supporters able and willing to give that amount of money than do Democrats. ...
"Republicans may be relishing this moment in 2004," Baran said, "but I think they will be breaking out in a sweat if Hillary becomes a candidate in 2008." It takes a politician with strong appeal to his or her core constituents to do what Bush is doing, he said.
A report released yesterday by the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group, found that, contrary to common perceptions, Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats in donations from small donors, while Democrats are king among only the biggest.The Democratic elite view themselves as an aristocracy that governs and exploits the masses for its own benefit. It's all top-down. The masters foment discord and anger among the subjects to keep themselves in power. Maybe people are catching on.
The study, analyzing donations during the 2002 campaign cycle, found that those little guys giving less than $200 to federal candidates, parties or leadership political action committees contributed 64 percent of their money to Republicans. By contrast, those fat cats giving $1 million or more contributed a lopsided 92 percent to Democrats. The only group favoring Democrats, in fact, were contributors giving more than $100,000.