Trump shatters GOP records with small donors, by Shane GoldMacher.
Donald Trump has unleashed an unprecedented deluge of small-dollar donations for the GOP, one that Republican Party elders have dreamed about finding for much of the past decade as they’ve watched a succession of Democrats — Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton — develop formidable fundraising operations $5, $10 and $20 at a time.
Trump has been actively soliciting cash for only a few months, but when he reveals his campaign’s financials later this week they will show he has crushed the total haul from small-dollar donors to the past two Republican nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney — during the entirety of their campaigns. …
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a senior Republican operative who has worked closely with the campaign’s small-dollar fundraising operation. “He’s the Republican Obama in terms of online fundraising.”
Clinton counted 2.3 million donors as of the end of August, the result of decades of campaigning, a previous presidential bid and allies who painstakingly built her an email file of supporters even before she formally announced her second run. But Trump had zoomed to 2.1 million donors in the past three months alone, his campaign has said.
What does that say about who is enthusiastically backing him? Given this and his billionaire status, Trump is freer of donor influence than any candidate for a long time.