Online Donors a Boon to Dean

Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on Sunday reported raising $6 million over the last three months in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, a performance that pleased campaign officials enough to release details early.

“This is people-powered Howard,” said Tricia Enright, communications director for the campaign. “It is proving that this is the largest grass-roots campaign that we’ve seen in history.”

According to Dean’s staff, the candidate raised $6 million from April through June. Dean’s totals were pushed up by a surge of $2.8 million in contributions in the last eight days, most of which came as online donations, his campaign said. Overall, he received more than 21,000 donations during the three months.

Political analysts generally expect the top Democratic contenders to each report raising $4 million to $6 million for the period. Although the data are of limited interest except to a small group of political insiders, they may provide an early indication of which campaigns are the most viable financially.


Today is the official filing deadline for the second quarter of the year. In the coming days, other candidates are expected to report their fund-raising totals for the period.

The pressure on candidates to raise money is acute, because a front-loaded schedule of primaries next year could quickly winnow the current field of nine Democratic aspirants. That process will begin Jan. 19 with the Iowa caucuses, in which candidates will draw heavily on the money they are raising now.

Political professionals believe a serious run for the Democratic presidential nomination could cost $20 million to $25 million.

Dean’s recent financial haul far exceeded the $2.6 million he collected from January through March.


“We have shown the power of our numbers, and what we can achieve when each of us takes an individual action that is matched by the actions of thousands of others,” Dean told supporters in an e-mail.