2016 Election, Donald Trump, Elections

Trump beats Obama in small donor fundraising. Were you one of them?

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

If you donated less than $200 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, you made history:

As a candidate, President Trump raised more money from small-dollar donors than former President Obama did in either of his two campaigns, according to a study released Tuesday that shows just how groundbreaking the Trump operation was.

Mr. Trump raised about $239 million from small donors during the campaign, compared with Mr. Obama’s $219 million in 2012 — then a record — and about $181 million in 2008, according to the report from the Campaign Finance Institute.

Mr. Trump’s total was also more than the small-dollar donations — defined as $200 or less — given to 2016 Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton ($137 million) and Sen. Bernard Sanders ($100 million) combined.

Small donations are often taken as a measure of grassroots enthusiasm. Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, said Trump’s small donor record shows “that there’s a hope that you can drain this swamp.”

Longtime RNC member Morton Blackwell elaborated:

“The people who made these smaller-dollar contributions are the people who were the financial and membership base of the pro-gun, pro-life, pro-right to work, pro-limited government organizations, which are large and massive,” Mr. Blackwell said.

“There are a whole lot of people who have [been] brought into politics on specific issue questions, and it was natural for those people to prefer Trump over Hillary, and so they gave him contributions,” he said.

Small-dollar donations made up 69 percent of Trump’s total individual campaign contributions, well ahead of Sanders, Clinton, and both of Obama’s campaigns.

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