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Bachmann 2010 Election Fundraising Effort Outpacing '08 by 32 Percent

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Small donor contributions to Bachmann soar by 355 percent compared to two years ago while special interest PAC money declines 51 percent

In helping to solidify her efforts to defend a seat highly targeted by Democrats in Washington and statewide, two-term Congresswoman Michele Bachmann begins 2010 with significantly more fundraising support than she received two years ago at this point in the election cycle - and from radically different donor sources.

A Smart Politics analysis of FEC data finds Representative Bachmann's 2009 fundraising efforts, completing her third year in D.C., are up 32.0 percent from the money she had raised at the end of her first year in Congress during the last election cycle in 2007.

For the 2009 calendar year, Bachmann raised $1,535,543 through individual contributions, PACs, and political party committees, compared to $1,163,314 for 2007, an increase of nearly one-third.

Representative Michele Bachmann's Yearly Fundraising Tally: Year 1 (2007) vs. Year 3 (2009)

Type
2007
2009
Change
PACs
$384,357
$188,785
-50.9
Individuals
$778,966
$1,346,283
+72.8
Itemized
$619,438
$620,129
+0.1
Small donors
$159,527
$726,154
+355.2
Total
$1,163,314
$1,535,543
+32.0
FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

But while Bachmann raised over $300,000 more in 2009 than the second highest fundraiser in the Gopher State's U.S. House delegation (Erik Paulsen), the story behind the story is not the extent of Bachmann's contributions, but its form.

While individual contributions to Bachmann's campaign are up 72.8 percent from 2007 ($778,966) to 2009 ($1,346,283) her receipts from large money donors are flat: $619,438 in 2007 versus $620,129 in 2009.

One thing that has changed, however, and has been reported by Smart Politics throughout the past year, is the unprecedented scope of small donations from individuals contributed to Bachmann's campaign (Donations tallying less than $200 for the election cycle).

In 2009, Bachmann received $726,154 in small donor funds - up 355.2 percent from 2007 ($159,527).

In 2007, just 13.7 percent of Bachmann's total receipts were from small donors, compared to a whopping 47.3 percent in 2009, buoyed in part by the Congresswoman's successful media blitz that began more than one year ago.

Small donor funding has comprised a larger and larger percentage of Bachmann's total quarterly fundraising receipts throughout this election cycle: 25.5 percent in Q1 2009, followed by 35.5 percent in Q2, 56.6 percent in Q3, and 59.3 percent in Q4.

The second major trend that continues to develop in Bachmann's fundraising numbers is the sharp decrease in PAC money that is being donated to the Congresswoman's campaign - to the tune of a 50.9 percent decrease from the respective period in 2007. Bachmann raised $384,357 from PACs in 2007, but just $188,785 from such committees in 2009.

While donations from individuals comprised 92.7 percent of Bachmann's Q4 2009 nearly $600,000 haul, PAC money has declined to just 7.3 percent - the lowest percentage of quarterly funds the Representative has received from PACs since landing the Republican Party endorsement for the 6th Congressional District back in May 2006.

Representative Bachmann relies less on PAC money as a component of her fundraising profile than any other member of the Gopher State U.S. House delegation. By contrast, 90.7 percent of Rep. Collin Peterson's (comparatively meager) Q4 2009 fundraising receipts came from PACs.

Percentage of PAC vs. Individual Donations to Michele Bachmann by Quarter, 2009

Type
Q1 2009
Q2 2009
Q3 2009
Q4 2009
Individuals
80.4
81.4
90.9
92.7
PACs
19.6
18.6
9.1
7.3
FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Overall, the $591,599 raised by Bachmann in Q4 2009 is the fourth highest in her career - with the other three occurring much later in their respective election cycles: $1,073,462 in Q4 2008, $856,456 in Q3 2006, and $816,687 in Q2 2006.

Fundraising by the DFL candidates challenging Bachmann are also far ahead of the pace of their candidate in 2007, El Tinklenberg (who announced his candidacy much later in the year). Tinklenberg had raised just $133,152 by the end of 2007, compared to $602,095 raised by Tarryl Clark and $574,625 by Maureen Reed in 2009.

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