Despite raffling off meals — including dinner with Donald Trump — and baseball tickets, all for a minimum contribution of $3, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is still struggling to attract small-dollar donors to his campaign.
As Romney campaigned to lock down his nomination, he has raised $13.4 million in donations of $200 or less, just 11 percent of his total, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington-based research group. It was such small-donor contributors, of course, who formed the backbone of President Barack Obama’s record-setting $745-million haul four years ago and are helping fuel his re-election bid this year. As he has has gone through the formality of amassing delegates for his nomination, Obama through May 31 had taken in $99 million in contributions in amounts of $200 or less, 41 percent of his total.
Candidates can go back to smaller donors again and again for money until they hit the $2,500 ceiling that can be given to a candidate per election, first during the primary season and again for the general election. Maxed-out donors accounted for 60 percent of Romney’s contributors for the primary season and 17 percent of Obama’s.