The first long tail (r) candidate?
You’re all familiar with the Long Tail, coined and invented by Chris Anderson of Wired magazine. In its simplest form, it means businesses can succeed and prosper by aggregating “niche” markets instead of relying on blockbuster moves in a mass market.
Looking at this year’s fund raising efforts, it seems to me Barrack is the first candidate to recognize and leverage the Long Tail. Look at Hillary’s traditional fund-raising technique. She called on a few, weathly contributors to donate maximum amounts to her campaign. The greenish part of the graph shown above.Feeling as though she’d win by February, she front-loaded her spending.
Senator Obama took the other tack, and has amassed (as of today) over 1,000,000 “niche” – or small contributors, most of whom have given less than $100. Aside from (at least from my point of view) being more representative of true democracy, it has given him an important advantage. Having spent all her money early, Hillary is tapped out. Her big contributors cannot, by law, give any more. And I imagine getting new contributors following 10 straight losses can’t be easy.
Barrack’s army of small donors can, (given their personal financial situations, of course) keep giving and giving -up to the mandated limit. Coupled with his efficent and friendly electronic contacts (emails, etc) it seems like he made the right call to me.
Update: Here’s an interesting update to the notion examined above, from Politico:
"According to the reports, Clinton raised about $20 million in January, including her loan. She spent nearly $29 million during the month.
She reported a cash balance of $29 million. But more than $20 million of that is money dedicated to the general election. Her personal loan accounts for more than half of the remaining approximately $9 million, leaving just about $4 million in cash raised from donors.
But even that money is illusionary when measured against the reported $7.6 million in debts.
More than $2 million of the red ink is owed to chief consultant and adviser, Mark Penn. But the lengthy laundry list of IOUs also includes unpaid bills ranging from insurance coverage, phone banking, printing and catering at events in Iowa, New Hampshire and California."
As I recall, Senator Obama raised over $30 million in January, virtually all from small, individual donors.
This post originally appeared on Campbell Ewald’s discontinued “The Next Engine” blog.