The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Green Zone

ActBlue Collects $42 Million for Democrats

By Matthew Mosk
Need any more evidence which political party has mastered the art of online fundraising?

Take a look at the left-leaning fundraising web site, which has collected $42.1 million for Democrats in the 2008 campaigns even before the party's convention, according to spokesperson Marissa Doran.

ActBlue has been working on the formula for Internet fundraising for several cycles now, and several candidates have set up shop on the site. Most notably, one-time presidential candidate John Edwards used ActBlue as his online fundraising vehicle. (He raised $4.3 million there, though he discovered after it was too late that the Federal Election Commission would not provide matching funds for the money he raised there.) Sen. Barbara Boxer has raised nearly $1 million for her leadership committee on the site. And blogs such as MyDD and Daily Kos have used the site to direct contributions of more than $1.5 million to their favored candidates.

Republicans have tinkered with a counterpart to ActBlue, but have yet to find much success. Among the earliest of these projects, ABC PAC, has reported raising $41,000 for the 2008 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Another attempt, which has been more active, has been on a website called That effort has brought in $467,000 for Republican candidates since 2007.

But the difference in scale is dramatic. Slatecard says it has seen 7,047 donations so far, while ActBlue has taken in contributions from 418,000 people since it originated in 2004. Total donations to the Democratic site since its inception topped $60 million this week.

Posted at 12:30 PM ET on Aug 19, 2008  | Category:  The Green Zone
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

"The Internet? Or was that the Internets? I remember hearing something about that a few years ago? Is that still around?"

John McCain

Posted by: Don't Change Anything! | August 19, 2008 4:55 PM

Internet? What's the internet?

There's nothing wrong with my IBM Selectric typewriter so why should I quit using it?


John McCain

Posted by: Vote Magoo he's an adulteror too! | August 19, 2008 3:38 PM

Matthew -

Indeed, ActBlue is a tremendous resource for the Left and no one would discount their current success. However, they will be the first to tell you that their success did not happen overnight. It takes dedication and time. You have to build the machine before it runs.

So I would respectfully note that this piece misinforms readers by comparing apples to an apple seed.

Let's try apples to apples for a go.

ActBlue's first election cycle (2004) they raised a total of either $791,900 or $890K depending on whether you want to source the Wall Street Journal or ActBlue. I blogged about it here. I still don't exactly know what they pulled in their first cycle except that it was less than $1M.

Slatecard, of which I'm a co-founder, hopes to raise more than a million this election cycle to beat ActBlue's first cycle. Yes, we have about half a million to go to meet our challenge.

Can we do it? I don't know. It is in the hands of the Republican community.

ActBlue has said it would pull in $100M this election cycle. How's that working out for them?

Look, we are working hard everyday on a volunteer basis to offer the most dynamic, cost-effective platform for Republican candidates.

And leaders like U.S. Senator Jim DeMint have embraced the platform because of its lowest-in-market processing fees and new tools it offers his campaign for FREE.

But at the end of the day -- successful at reaching our goal or not -- developing a tool that effectively empowers Republican grassroots activists and candidates is a win in our book.

I appreciate your focus on this space and I'm very hopeful that you'll better paint the picture for your readers by providing more historical analysis and context.


David All

Posted by: David All, | August 19, 2008 2:17 PM

Because the Republican Party has always been the party of the few wealthy individuals and the privileged few using ownership of media to distract voters. Until they figure out a way to control and own The Web, they will be stung by the collective voice of the millions.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 19, 2008 2:15 PM

Anyone besides me wonder if the GOP supporters are much older, not nearly as internet savy and most of us don't like the message? Oh, by the way I'm a "baby" at 58.

Posted by: Old Geezer | August 19, 2008 1:55 PM

Online fundraising might soon become a premonition of election outcome.

Posted by: Cook | August 19, 2008 12:46 PM

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