Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rae Leads Fundraising

This is quite interesting:
Bob Rae is on top when it comes to raising cash in the Liberal leadership race, according to an Elections Canada fundraising report.

But the report of donations up to the end of June shows none of the 11 candidates are anywhere near the $3.4-million maximum the party has set for each campaign.

Mr. Rae's $384,795 in donations is the highest, followed by Michael Ignatieff, with $293,896 and Joe Volpe with $210,170.

Mr. Ignatieff, who is perceived by many to be the front-runner, nonetheless comes out ahead in terms of the total number of contributors. Mr. Ignatieff's campaign lists 510 individuals as having offered donations, including the maximum $5,400 from former Ontario premier David Peterson.

Kennedy has raised a respectable, if not overly impressive $103,778, from 142 donors. What Kennedy may lack in fundraising, might be offset by enthusiam with his youthful volunteer base. The big loser in this measure of support would have to be Dion:
Though Liberal MP St├ęphane Dion's name has been mentioned increasingly of late as a top-tier candidate, his fundraising numbers are near the bottom of the pack.

Mr. Dion's team has listed 65 donors for a total of $32,250

I'm somewhat surprised that Dion hasn't raised more money. The real negative may come from the perception that his stature in this race may have been overstated. I think this numbers are really a reflection of who has the backing of the party powerbrokers more than a true indication of support, but they are important in terms of momentum. Bad press is bad press, and Dion looks weakened with these numbers.

On the other hand, Rae looks increasingly relevant and shows he has the structure to work for delegates. These fundraising totals help quiet the perception that Rae has too many negatives to be taken seriously. This is shaping up to be a good week for Rae, as he moves toe to toe with Iggy on issues and money.

Finally, I would love to see a breakdown of Volpe's fundraising, before and after the child donations. How anyone could give this man a penny is beyond me.

UPDATE

An example of how fundraising totals can influence perception. It's not the money, its how the numbers are portrayed and drive momentum.

7 comments:

Ayman said...

Keep it blazin!

Holla!

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Good observations.

My guess is a tight contest between Kennedy, Dion and Rae, with the final voting favouring Rae.

That said, compared to the sorry lot running the new Tories, Liberals can pat themselves on the back for fielding so many excellent candidates!

Any one of these three would make a good prime minister, but my money is on Bob Rae because of his integrity and his depth of experience. He would lift Canada's stature in the world, and be a compassionate but effective leader internally. Be a treat to have someone competent at the helm of the country again.

Craiginbc said...

Why are we as Liberals, or even the media for that matter, focused so much on the amount of money raised in this campaign? I'm not saying it isn't an important factor, but all of the candidates to date seem to have been able to mount a credible campaign regardless of the dollars spent or not spent. Using these numbers as an example, Dion seems to be running a much more credible campaign then some of the other candidates on this list. If any of the candidates does one big fundraiser, it would completely throw off any of the numbers published for a given period. Given the negative stories about fundraising that have come up in this campaign to date, should party members not be focusing on choosing the right leader?

Craig said...

Craiginbc makes a good point. If Dion is doing so well with so little in terms of fundraising, that shows great skill with budgeting. The article makes another good point, members were more focused on getting delegates than fundraising in June.

So I wonder what's going right in the Dion camp that isn't in the Dryden camp. Where have Dion's layoffs been?

Steve V said...

I agree that Dion has run an effective campaign. I also don't think money raised is a make it or break proposition. However, I don't think we can discount perception and momentum. Fundraising numbers are something the media looks to when determining a campaign's viability. Can anyone argue that Dryden didn't suffer a bad public relations blow when he announced staff layoffs? Accurate or not, it gives the appearance that Dryden is struggling, especially when compared with others numbers.

With regards to momentum, people who are undecided or soft supporters can be influenced by viability. It is simple human nature that people want to support a realistic winner, so anything presented that looks negative could weaken the candidates image. Rightly or wrongly, fundraising gives people a sense of how someone is doing.

If you look at historical precedent, there is a strong co-relation between fundraising and eventual winners.

Cerberus said...

Rae's overall numbers are strong, but he is relying on big donations from his corporate connections. Almost averaging $2000 per donor.

The real story here is the number of donors Ignatieff has supporting him: way more than twice the number supporting Rae and way way ahead of everyone else. Much more importantly, he's a close #2 in overall amounts raised, but he's doing it on a much broader base of small donor support. He's averaging about $550 per donor. That's grassroots support. Even if those who don't like Ignatieff don't want to admit it, he is reaching out far more than any of the others to the rank and file.

The only donor who has a lower average per donor amount is Dion. His numbers look bad, but everyone knows his momentum is from being so many people's second choice. If that is the case, and he can manage to get to the convention, he will do very well with later ballot support. Rae on the other hand could stall.

Kennedy and Brison did respectfully but they only managed to raise enough to pay off their campaign loans so they have a lot of work still ahead of them. As as far as youth support is concerned, polling is pretty clear and consistent that Kennedy and Ignatieff are running neck and neck.

More analysis of the fundraising numbers and what they mean over at Cerberus with my post on "Liberal leadership fundraising and the grassroots".

Ted
Cerberus

Steve V said...

ted

Valid points indeed!