Front-page NY Times article misled on Obama and McCain campaigns' dependence on contributions of $1,000 or more

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

The New York Times reported that a third of the $340 million Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has raised "has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain ... raised in contributions of that size." But the Times did not note that a significantly higher percentage -- nearly three-fourths -- of McCain's campaign contributions have exceeded $1,000.

In a front-page August 6 article, New York Times reporters Michael Luo and Christopher Drew wrote: "In an effort to cast himself as independent of the influence of money on politics, Senator Barack Obama often highlights the campaign contributions of $200 or less that have amounted to fully half of the $340 million he has collected so far. But records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain ... raised in contributions of that size." But while reporting that Obama has raised more money than McCain in donations of $1,000 or more, and that Obama's $112 million in such large contributions amounts to "one-third of his record-breaking haul," Luo and Drew did not note that a significantly higher percentage of McCain's campaign contributions have equaled or exceeded $1,000.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, contributions of $1,000 or more represented 36.4 percent of Obama's total contributions from individuals, compared to 74.3 percent of McCain's total contributions from individuals:

McCain

Obama

Total of contributions of more than $1,000

$90,030,781

$122,704,308

Total individual contributions through July 28

$121,232,420

$336,740,735

Percentage

74.3%

36.4%

From the August 6 Times article:

In an effort to cast himself as independent of the influence of money on politics, Senator Barack Obama often highlights the campaign contributions of $200 or less that have amounted to fully half of the $340 million he has collected so far.

But records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama's Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries, raised in contributions of that size.

Behind those larger donations is a phalanx of more than 500 Obama "bundlers," fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more. Many of the bundlers come from industries with critical interests in Washington. Nearly three dozen of the bundlers have raised more than $500,000 each, including more than a half-dozen who have passed the $1 million mark and one or two who have exceeded $2 million, according to interviews with fund-raisers.

Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Person
Michael Luo, Christopher Drew
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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