Small donations fuel Bachmann campaign fund

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:52pm EDT

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addresses her hometown crowd at an event the day before the official announcement of her entering the 2012 presidential race, in Waterloo, Iowa June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/Files

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addresses her hometown crowd at an event the day before the official announcement of her entering the 2012 presidential race, in Waterloo, Iowa June 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes/Files

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann's campaign said on Friday it had more than $4.2 million in contributions at the end of the second quarter, much of it from small donors.

The Minnesota congresswoman's campaign said it had received more than 88,000 contributions, averaging about $48 each, and that it had more than $3.6 million cash in hand.

CBS News had reported that about $2 million of Bachmann's haul had been shifted from her congressional account, citing a Republican source close to Bachmann.

The campaign would not comment.

Bachmann, a favorite with the Tea Party movement who is conservative both fiscally and socially, is strongly opposed to gay marriage and abortion rights. Rising in the polls, she filed papers to enter the race on June 13 although speculation had swirled for months that she would run.

Her fundraising puts her on par with most other Republican hopefuls for the 2012 election with the notable exception of front-runner Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has raised $18.25 million, according to campaign filings.

"Is it an overwhelming blow-away-the-field number? No," said Gregg Peppin, a former director of the Minnesota House Republican campaign committee. "But she didn't have to," given her nationwide network.

"She will be a contender in the financial sweepstakes."


Bachmann raised $13.5 million -- more than all of her colleagues in the House of Representatives -- during the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Some analysts had speculated Bachmann would significantly top rivals who trail her in opinion polls, such as former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who raised $4.2 million in the quarter, or former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who reported $4.1 million, including some from his own pocket.

Republican consultant Mike Murphy said expectations had been too high for Bachmann.

"Candidates like Bachmann tend to raise most of their money online, and unlike traditional high dollar fundraising, which tends to start big then taper off ... online fundraising tends to grow over time at a steady rate," Murphy said.

Seventy-five percent of her political action committee's funds so far this year are from small donors, CRP said.

President Barack Obama's campaign warchest dwarfs that of any Republican. He raised $86 million in the second quarter when combined with fundraising by the Democratic National Committee. Obama's campaign alone raised $47 million.

Bachmann has emerged as a leading rival to Romney since she entered the race a few weeks ago. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll released this week Romney led her 40 percent to 23 percent in a head-to-head battle.

However, some surveys show her leading in Iowa, which kicks off the nominating battle and can give a candidate valuable momentum.

Candidates are required to report their second-quarter fundraising to federal regulators by midnight on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Todd Eastham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (5)
Huck_Finn wrote:
4 Mill,….that’s it!?!?!?!?!?

Wow, that is surprisingly low.

Jul 15, 2011 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
snarkus wrote:
Ah yes, Bachmann competitive for the nomination pulls the Republicans to the very far right, which makes Barack Hoover Obama think that the very serious “middle” is somewhere to the right of his idol Ronald Reagan, and the Wall St plutocrats are most pleased.

Have a nice day!

Jul 15, 2011 10:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
frjim wrote:
Actualy, if you look at Zogby, Gallup and Rasmussen, Romney is only
the “front runner” in the minds of the media. Bachmann has pulled ahead, and Romney’s running second. He was third, there, for a while,
until POawlenty lauinched an attach against mrs. Bachmann and it backfired.

Of course, these are polls rthat only polled registered Republicans. I
suspect many media polls have probably, in an effort to boost Romney,
ventured farther afield.

Jul 16, 2011 1:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.