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Bachmann Continues to Lead Minnesota Congressional Delegation Fundraising from 'Regular Folks'

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For yet another fundraising cycle, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann continues to lead the Minnesota U.S. House delegation in several key facets, beyond the obvious fact that she has raised the most funds in 2009 among the state's eight U.S. House members.

The Republican Representative, who led the Gopher State by receiving $345,132 in contributions in the third quarter of 2009, received more than 90 percent of her campaign funds this quarter from individuals, with only 9.1 percent coming from political action committees (PACs).

Bachmann has raised a larger percentage of her campaign funds from individuals than any member of the Minnesota delegation in each quarter this year - with that percentage increasing each quarter: from 80.4 percent in Q1, to 81.4 percent in Q2, to 90.9 percent in Q3.

DFLer Keith Ellison raised the second largest percentage from individuals, with 79.0 percent of his $135,590 Q3 2009 funds coming from individuals and 21.0 percent from PACs.

Minnesota Representatives who were more reliant on PAC money last quarter include DFLers Collin Peterson (78.5 percent), Betty McCollum (51.8 percent), and Jim Oberstar (35.0 percent) and Republican John Kline (40.8 percent).

Since the beginning of the year, over 84 percent of Bachmann's funds have come from individuals, far more than any of her fellow Minnesota U.S. House members.

At $797,883, Bachmann has raised nearly $200,000 more from individuals than the nearest Gopher State U.S. Representative, Rep. Erik Paulsen at $603,847, and more than $475,000 greater than the nearest DFLer (Rep. Jim Oberstar at $321,603).

Amount and Percentage of 2009 Campaign Funds Raised from Individuals by Minnesota U.S. Representatives

Rank
U.S. Representative
Amount
Percent
1
Michele Bachmann (R-06)
$797,883
84.5
2
Keith Ellison (DFL-05)
$253,110
69.2
3
Erik Paulsen (R-03)
$603,847
67.4
4
John Kline (R-02)
$330,452
63.0
5
Tim Walz (DFL-01)
$292,455
62.6
6
Jim Oberstar (DFL-08)
$321,603
51.5
7
Betty McCollum (DFL-04)
$134,536
42.9
8
Collin Peterson (DFL-07)
$95,917
24.0
FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

By contrast, only 15.4 percent of Bachmann's funds in 2009 have come from special interest PAC money, and, at $145,725, that is the second lowest amount among the Minnesota U.S. House delegation.

Committee Chairs Collin Peterson ($303,850) and Jim Oberstar ($302,400) have raised more than twice that amount from special interests.

Amount and Percentage of 2009 Campaign Funds Raised from PACs by Minnesota U.S. Representatives

Rank
U.S. Representative
Amount
Percent
1
Collin Peterson (DFL-07)
$303,850
76.0
2
Betty McCollum (DFL-04)
$179,182
57.1
3
Jim Oberstar (DFL-08)
$302,400
48.5
4
John Kline (R-02)
$194,150
37.0
5
Erik Paulsen (R-03)
$291,301
32.5
6
Keith Ellison (DFL-05)
$112,516
30.8
7
Tim Walz (DFL-01)
$171,299
36.7
8
Michele Bachmann (R-06)
$145,725
15.4
FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

And just who are these individuals contributing to Bachmann?

As outlined in previous analyses by Smart Politics for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, Bachmann is receiving a larger percentage (and gross amount) of her funds from small contributors - those 'regular folks' donating less than $200 for the cycle-to-date - than any member of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation.

That pattern has continued into the third quarter of 2009.

In fact, Bachmann is relying more and more on small donations to fund her campaign than ever before. In the third quarter, 61.8 percent of individual contributions to Bachmann were from small donations - up from 43.6 percent in Q2 and 31.8 percent in Q1.

These small, unitemized donations have totaled $375,222 for Congresswoman Bachmann in 2009 - which is more than the total small donor contributions made by individuals to all seven other members of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation combined ($374,594).

The $375,000+ raised by Bachmann from small donors is also more than the total individual (large donor and small donor) funds received by Walz, Kline, McCollum, Ellison, Peterson, and Oberstar respectively.

Amount and Percentage of 2009 Campaign Funds Raised from Small Donor (Unitemized) Individuals by Minnesota U.S. Representatives

Rank
U.S. Representative
Amount
Percent
1
Michele Bachmann (R-06)
$375,222
47.0
2
Collin Peterson (DFL-07)
$31,951
33.3
3
Tim Walz (DFL-01)
$85,941
29.4
4
Betty McCollum (DFL-04)
$37,266
27.7
5
Keith Ellison (DFL-05)
$57,255
22.6
6
John Kline (R-02)
$56,887
17.2
7
Jim Oberstar (DFL-08)
$40,111
12.5
8
Erik Paulsen (R-03)
$65,183
10.8
Far right column denotes the percentage of small donor individual contributions as a percentage of total individual contributions. FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

And as for Bachmann's 6th District DFL hopefuls?

State Senator Tarryl Clark - who launched her campaign in late July - raised 39.6 percent of individual campaign contributions from small donors ($102,867), while Maureen Reed raised only 9.6 percent from small donors ($12,960).

Because small donor contributions are unitemized, it is impossible to glean from the FEC reports from where these contributions are being sent. Rep. Bachmann's prominence on the national cable TV news circuit suggests that a large amount may be coming in from out of state, as she becomes a leading national conservative figure.

However, the big money contributions that are pouring into the coffers of Minnesota's U.S. Representatives are itemized, and Smart Politics will analyze from where that money is coming in the next installment.

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Previous post: Bachmann Raises $29,000 on Day 2 of 'Send a Message to the Left' Campaign
Next post: Walz Has Largest Percentage of Contributions from In-State Donors; Ellison the Lowest

7 Comments


  • Well done Eric. I suspect that truckloads of money will be coming in from both national parties and their respective "individual" donors for both Congresswoman Bachmann and the eventual democratic candidate in the sixth. You are right to point out that cable television plays a huge part in Bachmann's outreach to conservative donors outside of the state of Minnesota. I suspect that she will ramp up even more "outreach" to those donors in the future as well.

  • As the previous commenter noted, a lot of the " 'regular folks' " individual donors that are sending small donations Bachmann's way are cable TV fans (and talk radio fans). In other words, many of those "regular folks" that Eric Ostermeier refers to are the tea baggers who love the fact that Bachmann is telling them that the President of the United States is a tyrant and Marxist.

    The other "regular folks" that have surfaced as individual donors on Bachmann campaign reports have been supporters of the evangelical conservative political movement. I haven't looked at the reporting that Ostermeier cites, but in previous statements Bachmann reports individual donations from Council for National Policy luminaries like Phyllis Schlafly and Howard Phillips. (Bear in mind that these "regular folks" from out of state were contributing to Bachmann campaigns even before she got to Congress, even before she got her first appearance on cable TV.)

    Some of the names on past donor lists are not so recognizable. For example, you have one Bachmann donor who gave as an individual and turned out to be a leader of ASSS (the Association of Separation of School and State, a Georgia based group that wants to end all government funding for public education.)

    And of course Bachmann now has small donors who contribute to her campaign at the urging of the Glenn Becks and Bill O'Reilly's of the world.

    But all these professional and amateur right wingers from outside Bachmann's district have one thing in common: they're all just "regular folks," according to *Smart* Politics. According to Smart Politics, nobody's directing them, they're not acting in concert, and the fact that some of 'em are right wing political activists and organizers--doesn't matter. Just a cooincidence, according to Smart Politics, they're just "regular folks" from out of state, who just happen to have a healthy interest in who represents people in an obscure Minnesota congressional district.

    Keep up the investigative journalism, Smart Politics! It's invaluable!

  • Bill P,

    Sour grapes I see??? Of course if I spent over a decade of my adult life STALKING a beautiful politico, I would probably be "unstable" as well.
    GIVEN that you have been FIRED from a volunteer newspaper for crass commenatry (the Stillwater Gazette).............which says alot considering the current economic situation of the modern day newspaper and GIVEN that you have been FIRED from a Bachmann "Hate site--dumpbachmann.com" (which is like Fidel being let go from Mother Russia) I find it as no surprise that your brooding again:)

    The more you've railed against her................the higher she's risen:) Keep it up...........she may just be Prez some day!!!

  • You kids take a time out now......

    I do not see any credible numbers for the congresswoman to reach a statewide office, much less a national office. This talk of the congresswoman for national office is at best an opportunity for more fund-raising on a national level.

    The congresswoman knows which touchstones to use when appealing to the fringe elements of her party and in return the fringe is more than willing to put their money where her mouth is.

  • Congresswoman Bachmann represents and stands up for all of us, not just for her own state. If out of staters want to donate, it is because they know that she will fight for them, too. We need more like Congresswoman Bachmann in Washington! I will support any strong, conservative candidate who is going to protect me and my rights as a citizen and my country!!

  • Bachmann has received donations from citizens across the country because she is fighting the Acorn / Congress corruption and she still believes in the Constitution. I donated and don't even live near Minnesota.

  • THANK YOU MICHELE for standing up for "We the People." Fighting a government takeover of our health care system AND your efforts to stop the funding to corrupt groups like Acorn, makes YOU one of my favorites in DC. These liberals claim to care so much about the poor, yet they take a COLA for themselves and take it way from our seniors who barely survive on fixed incomes, for the next three years! Now with this public option they want to INCREASE the cost of their Medicare Health Ins. payments while talking away the part D supplement. Makes NO sense. Not like thede poor seniors had a choice. They could not OPT out of paying in all these years. Such compassion from the left and so little "choice."

  • Leave a comment


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