The power of online fundraising is back in action: Barack Obama beat his fundraising losing streak by raising $114 million in August, narrowly inching head of Romney by just $3 million. Leveraging the power of unlimited campaign donations that was granted by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, Republicans have enjoyed a huge financial advantage with deep-pocketed SuperPACs and billionaires. The once mighty Obama online fundraising army that helped Obama clinch the democratic party nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2008 has been struggling to maintain its lead against the influx of donations from traditional conservative cash-cows.
Just last month, Republicans crushed the Democrats, raising $106 million for Romney and the Republican National Committee, compared to the Democrat’s (relatively) meager $71 million. However, the Obama campaign released news today that they ousted Republicans, in part thanks to 317,000 new donors, who were likely inspired by the Democratic National Convention last week.
Democrats have attempted to reform election finance, but are struggling to overcome Supreme Court law. This summer, Facebook co-founder and 2008 Obama digital strategist, Chris Hughes, launched a campaign with New York Governor Cuomo to push for publicly financed elections.
This latest breakthrough for Obama may lend credence to the belief that online fundraising can be a solution to the influence of traditional fundraising on the democratic process.
[Photo Credit: Todd Wiseman, Texas