Rise of the ‘Small-Dollar’ Donor: The Little People Step Up

Rise of the ‘Small-Dollar’ Donor: The Little People Step Up

With recent reports of Sen. Paul’s ramped-up fundraising, one of the most interesting details is where the money is coming from. As the Courier-Journal reports, a lot of that money is coming from the little people. More and more people are contributing as small-dollar donors.

“[Paul] draws backing largely from so-called ‘small-dollar’ givers, people who contribute $200 or less. Nearly $1.4 million — close to three-quarters of the funds Paul’s two committees raised — came from small donors in the first six months of this year, FEC records show.”

The report also notes that Paul’s numbers on social media have grown significantly as well. His Facebook friends have more than quintupled to more than a million, while his mailing list has jumped to a similar number.

Also of note, but not mentioned in the piece is Paul’s presence on Twitter. The senator is up to nearly a quarter million followers on a platform in which 42 percent of users are under the age of 34.

What this demonstrates is Paul’s widening base of support, as his message of smaller government resonates with more and more people. And while the small-dollar donors are currently making up the bulk of his fundraising, as CNN pointed out in June, he will have to maintain a balance going forward.

“As Paul’s advisers began sorting out his political travels earlier this spring, they worked hand-in-hand with the South Carolina Republican Party to set up two very different kinds of fundraisers designed to appeal to two different wings of the party.

Paul’s first order of business Friday is a $1,500-a-plate luncheon in Greenville, a run-of-the-mill “high dollar” event that raises money for the South Carolina GOP and offers a handful of wealthy Republican donors a chance to get close to the potential presidential candidate and chat candidly behind closed doors.

…Later Friday, Paul heads to the state capital of Columbia for a casual “low-dollar” fundraiser with a menu of barbecue and sweet tea at the state farmer’s market, a chance to mingle with grass-roots activists who purchased tickets for $40 a pop.”

Either way, Paul’s popularity is clearly on the rise, and with people from all across the donor spectrum from small-dollar donations to beyond.

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