President Obama continues to raise huge sums of money, but he is also mobilizing supporters to do battle against the GOP’s 2012 voter suppression campaign.
Here is the Obama For America video (Warning, fundraising pitch included):
What is more impressive that the $68 million fundraising total is the number of people who are getting involved with the president’s reelection campaign. In the past year, the story being put forward by the mainstream media, including a few folks who are considered part of the left is that this president is such a disappointment that he has lost his base, and is generating little enthusiasm.
The reality is often evident both in the media’s own polling and in the number of people who financially committed to the president’s reelection campaign in 2011. Over 1.3 million people donated in 2011, and more than 583,000 people donated in the last three months of 2011 alone. Over 200,000 of these contributions came from new donors. Instead of losing steam, the fourth quarter numbers reveal that people are getting enthused about joining the fight to reelect Obama.
It is these people that have the Republican Party so worried. The Citizens United decision means that the conservative billionaires will be able to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into the race in order to run negative ads against Obama. Unlike in 2008, money won’t be an issue for the Republican nominee.
The problem for the Republicans is the number of people who are motivated to get this president reelected.
The voter ID laws that Republicans are passing in state after state ahead of 2012 are designed to target these Obama supporters. After being beaten on the ground in 2008, the GOP is doing everything they can to eliminate the Obama grassroots army. In Florida, Rick Scott came into office and promptly signed a new law that crippled voter registration drives and cut down the number of early voting days. (Obama carried the state in 2008 in large part due to his campaign’s ability to mobilize support during early voting). In Ohio, John Kasich also came into office and signed a new law that limited early voting.
At the state level, Republicans have also pushed new voter ID laws. For example, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Republicans in North Carolina have both put in place new voter ID laws that were designed to make it more difficult for Obama supporters to vote. For Republicans, 2012 is all about making the electorate smaller and whiter.
As a general rule, the number of donors is a decent indicator of the level of grassroots support that a candidate has. The new fundraising numbers reveal that Obama’s grassroots support remains strong despite daily non-stop attacks from Republicans, and a mainstream media that is all too happy to push the Republican narrative that Obama is doomed.
Obama’s fundraising numbers are going to continue to be mind boggling, but 2012 won’t be about money. The big story is going to be how the Obama campaign spends the money that they raise to overcome Republican efforts to keep his supporters from voting in 2012. The Obama campaign is planning on spending huge sums of their money on grassroots efforts to overcome the GOP campaign to suppress the vote.
The 2012 election will be less about Barack Obama versus the Republican nominee and more about Democrats versus the voter suppression tactics of the Republican Party. The outcome of the battle to make sure that Obama supporters can still vote for their candidate may determine the outcome of the 2012 election.
Image: Toledo Blade