July 01, 2003

Is Dean's Cash Overrated?

Not without reason, there's been much crowing over Howard Dean's fundraising prowess in the second quarter. There's no question that Dean has used the Internet effectively to mobilize a volunteer base and bring in money, and that this speaks well of his campaign's effectiveness. But before he's annointed the presumptive nominee, lets look at the predicted totals for Q2, according to the Washington Post's sources:

Dean - "more than $7 million"
Kerry - "about $5 million"
Edwards - "about $5 million"
Gephardt - "working to approach the $5 million mark"
Lieberman - won't say yet
Graham- "$2 million to $3 million"
Kucinich - "in seven figures"
Sharpton - declined to comment
Moseley Braun - wouldn't return phone calls

It looks like Dean is doing pretty well. But which donors is he attracting? Excluding the fringe candidates (James Taranto calls them Sharptonkucinichmoseleybraun), the fundraising base breaks down approximately like this:

Liberals: $7 million to Dean, a few million to the waffling Kerry, perhaps some to Graham (who nimbly changes his rhetoric to match the audience)

Moderates: $5 million to Edwards, almost $5 million to Gephardt, another few million (presumably) to Lieberman, a few million to Graham, and probably a few million to Kerry

Some are saying that Dean's momentum is a sign of the Democrats lurching to the left. But what if it's just a sign of too many candidates chasing the same money? For the left wing of the party, Dean is the obvious first choice; for the center-left, there is no obvious first choice. No wonder Dean's out-pacing the competition.

Posted by John Tabin at July 1, 2003 02:25 AM