Obama's Fundraising Stats Outed

From his surprising showing in the front-loaded primary season to his shunning of public campaign financing, the conventional wisdom has been that Obama marshaled his massive war chest Howard-Dean style, powered by an army of small donors. But a report by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute has now crunched the numbers, finding (to its own surprise, it says) that Obama's base of small donors was about the same size as that of George W. Bush in 2004. The institute found that, rather than the 50% figure often reported during the campaign, only about one-quarter of Obama's contributions came from people whose total donations were less than $200. It says the disparity emerged by counting donations below $200 as "small" even if that same donor went out to give thousands more.