The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"I'm proud of the fact that I've raised more money from small donors than anybody else, and that we're getting $25, $50, $100 donations, and we've done very well doing it that way."

Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 in debate in Las Vegas

Obama rakes it in from small donors

Barack Obama said in a debate that he has raised the most money from small donors.

For this question, we turned to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research group that tracks money in politics.

The center found that, based on available data, Obama has raised the most money from small donors, said spokesman Massie Ritsch.

Small donors are defined as people who donate less than $200; the Federal Election Commission requires candidates to itemize contributions from people who give more than that. Smaller donations get reported as a lump sum, and Obama has reported the most money raised under this category. (The donation limit for any individual donor is $2,300 per candidate.)

An important caveat: The center has only analyzed data compiled through Sept. 30, 2007, the last deadline for campaign finance data. Another report is due about two weeks from this writing, on Jan. 31, 2008. It's possible, though not likely, that fundraising during the last quarter of the year could change this analysis.

Here are the totals for individual donors calculated by the center so far, excluding PAC contributions and transfers from other accounts:

* Obama: $79.2-million total, $19.8-million small;

* Clinton: $79.6-million total, $10.4-million small;

* Edwards $30.1-million total, $8.4-million small.

Based on the center's analysis, we find Barack Obama's claim that he gets the most money from small donors to be True.

About this statement:

Published: Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Ethics


Interview with Massie Ritsch of Center for Responsive Politics

Los Angeles Times, "Small donors give big to Obama," July 16, 2007

Associated Press, "Obama money ranges from bankers to small donors as candidates' fundraising gets closer look," July 17, 2007

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

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