Obama Donors: Too Many or Too Rich

Obama campaign e-mail has fundraising community buzzing.

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The campaign fundraising community is puzzled over a new e-mail from President Obama's team that warns supporters and media to look at the number of donors, not the size of the war chest, when quarterly totals are announced as early as Friday.

"A lot of folks will be interpreting our numbers as a measure of this campaign's support," said the E-mail from Obama. "They're not wrong, but they are wrong about why. We measure our success not in dollars but in people—in the number of everyday Americans who've chosen to give whatever they can afford because they know we've got more work to do."

So what's it mean? Some suggest that donations are low, but the number of small donors high, a clear sign of support similar to the type of backing from low-dollar donors that Obama received in his 2008 presidential campaign.

Others, however, say he's been spending too much time wooing major big dollar donors that the tally will be embarrassingly huge, prompting the campaign to steer the media to the number of donors instead. "My guess is they have been spending so much time with 'rich' high dollar donors, they are concerned their average contribution will be very high and need to drive it down so they don't get tagged with their campaign being financed by the big dollar 'rich' folks," said a Republican fundraising strategist.

Below is the campaign's email:

Paul --

We're closing the books on the first fundraising quarter of the 2012 race at midnight tomorrow.

A lot of folks will be interpreting our numbers as a measure of this campaign's support.

They're not wrong, but they are wrong about why.

We measure our success not in dollars but in people—in the number of everyday Americans who've chosen to give whatever they can afford because they know we've got more work to do.

I'm asking you to be one of them. Please donate $5 or more before midnight tonight:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Deadline

Thank you,

Barack