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Obama's Consolidation of the Party

Barack Obama built a movement to rival and take over the Democratic Party. Now what?
 
 
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Brownsox blogs.

Over 1.25 million Indianans voted yesterday for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary.
Over 1.1 million Indianans voted for Jill Long Thompson or Jim Schellinger in the Democratic primary for Governor of Indiana.
In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry received 969,000 votes in the state of Indiana ...in the general election.

That is stunning. The primary has been exceptionally good for party building. Obama has created a number of significant infrastructure pieces through his campaign, displacing traditional groups the way he promised he would by signaling the end of the old politics of division and partisanship.

Voter Registration: Obama has launched a 50 state registration drive.

"That's why I'm so proud that today our campaign announced a massive volunteer-led voter registration drive in all 50 states to help ensure every single eligible voter takes part in this election so we can take back Washington for the American people."

I have heard from several sources that the Obama campaign is sending out signals to donors, specifically at last weekend's Democracy Alliance convention, to stop giving to outside groups, including America Votes. The campaign also circulated negative press reports about Women's Voices Women's Vote, implying voter suppression.

Obama Organizing Fellows: Here's Obama describing them:

Basically what we've done is we've been attracting so much volunteer talent, so many young people who have gotten involved in the campaign, that we wanted to give a handful of them an opportunity to have some more intensive training. So we've asked them to apply for fellowships. I think they're called Obama Fellows. They will get intensive training, and they will be put on staff and will have an experience, starting in June.

These are unpaid positions, and they will be used to do field organizing, message, and helping to "continue to build the movement". This is pure leadership development, though it continues the class-based diminution of talent by refusing to pay, a problem outlined in Crashing the Gates .

Money: MyBarackObama.com: With 1.5 million donors, this campaign has blown away anything we've ever seen in terms of grassroots fundraising. The technology is all centralized, so Obama knows the name, address, giving patterns, and occupation of every donor out there, as well as social networking information, like who the best raisers are.  He has bypassed Actblue, and will probably end up building in a Congressional slate feature to further party build while keeping control of the data.

One email from Moveon to their full list can bring in between $100k to $1M for a candidate, with $1M being the very top end of the range. With one good email to his list, in a few months, Obama will probably be able to bring in $1-3M for a Senate candidate under attack or split that among several. 10-20% of the money going to Senate candidates this cycle might come from Barack Obama's internet operation. Stunning.

 
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