Open Thread: Obama Sees a Drop in Small Donors

During the 2008 election cycle, small donors were the symbol of President Obama's campaign. This time around, though, Obama's low approval ratings have underscored a major problem with his 2012 campaign: the growing disillusionment from his former grassroots supporters. With their disillusionment and poor economy also comes a significant drop in the number of small donations Obama is receiving.

Do you think the drop in small donations signals problems for his campaign? Or are big donors really all that matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

According to a NYT article from this weekend,

...[H]igh hopes that Mr. Obama would deliver a new kind of politics in his first term have been dashed by the emergence of something that, to them, more resembles politics as usual.

“When I was pro-Obama in 2008, I was thinking of him as a leader who could face the challenges that we were tackling,” said Adnan Alasadi, who works in behavioral health in Mesa, Ariz. Mr. Alasadi contributed repeatedly to Mr. Obama during his first campaign but says he will not give the president — or anyone else — any more money.

“Now I am seeing him as just an opportunistic politician,” Mr. Alasadi said.

Around 25% of Obama's donations in 2008 came from contributors giving $200 or less, but according to the article, "a vast majority of Mr. Obama's past donors, who number close to four million, have not yet given him any money at all."

Do you think any of the Republican candidates will be able to mobilize a grassroots base of small donors like Obama did in 2008?

2012 Presidential Campaigns & Elections Open Thread