Obama out-raised Romney in August!
And his bounce from the convention is not only good but doubly good because Romney got NO bounce. Zero. Zilch. This virtually never happens to a candidate in a presidential election. "All brides are beautiful on their wedding day." But not Mitt Romney!
Let's look at the money first. Obama beat Romney by $3 million ($114 mill to $111 mill). The $3 mill is not, however, the real story.
YOU are the real story!
A whopping 98% of Obama's money came from donations of $250 or less! That's an amazing percentage! Only 32% of Romney's did. So it was YOU who put Obama ahead. GOOD FOR YOU!
This tells us two things. First, Obama's supporters are "fired up and ready to go." Romney's aren't. People follow their own money. If folks contribute to a campaign, they are "invested" in that campaign. It's now THEIR campaign! And they are not only going to vote for "their" guy but make sure others do too. In a close election the resulting commitment to work for the campaign, by identifying favorable voters and getting them to the polls, is EVERYTHING. Now it looks like Obama will have a larger base of campaign workers than Romney will. And that's what counts.
This isn't just me blathering. Studies show that people are more bound by what they give than by what they get. It's one of the nicer aspects of human nature.
What else do we learn from Obama getting so much from so many and Romney so much from so few? The timing tells us something. All summer Obama built a well-deserved negative view of Romney. The result? Obama succeeded in rallying his troops, a big achievement in these economic times and with a generally skeptical press. He looked like a fighter and a winner. Romney kept stumbling into the ropes, increasingly looking punchy from all the blows. People do not donate money to losers. By early August the GOP small donors - the people the GOP must have as voters and workers - were putting away their checkbooks, while the Democratic small donors increased in number. This seemed to indicate that Obama's summer campaign might be succeeding not only with his base but with a larger electorate.
And it was. By the end of August, Obama was not only still holding on in the polls despite an onslaught of lying super pac ads, but was also inching ahead.
And that brings us to the bounce. It wasn't really a bounce at all!
Yes, Obama had an excellent convention and Romney's was a mess. But Obama's gains in the polls began BEFORE and DURING the Republican convention. Something else was going on! Something better than a bounce!
Dare I say it? Yes, I'll stick my neck out.
It's called "mo". And it's starting. The very first tiny beginnings of something indescribable and wonderful.
I think it was George Bush Sr. who cut the word down from "momentum" to "mo". It's an almost inexplicable energy that starts to rise at some point in a candidate's campaign. You can almost feel it or smell it in the air. When it starts to flow, it feeds upon itself and keeps growing. The candidate feels it, is energized and feeds it further. The electorate feels it, like iron filings being pulled towards a magnet. Campaign volunteers feel it and start putting in extra hours and laughing a lot. The last ones to notice it are the members of the media.
It's not here big-time yet. By that time the media will have to note it. And it may never arrive as a great wave, as something like 2008. But it's here, like the first hint of autumn in the air. Something small and ineffable is out there. Still small and perhaps delicate. And I love it!
Can YOU feel it? Taste it? Smell it? I'll bet you can!
Now let's make it grow!
Mr. Romney! Mr. Romney! Collect call for Mr. Romney! Collect your tax returns, please, and show them to the American public!