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Romney small donors (or lack thereof)

When the Romney campaign released its March fundraising numbers, it noted that "84% of all donations received through the end of March were $250 or less" -- which seemed to suggest that a sizable amount of its money is coming from grassroots donors.

But that statistic doesn't tell the whole story. Per MSNBC's Joshua Chaffee, a producer with "NOW with Alex Wagner":

While the percentage the campaign cites is correct, it doesn't illustrate the role small donors play in the campaign's overall fundraising. A closer look at the numbers reveals that in fact, a majority of Romney's money has come from people who donated the maximum amount of $2,500 -- 64% through March, according to the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI).

What the "84%" figure really means is that roughly 8 out of 10 checks received by the Romney campaign were $250 or less, not that 84% of the campaign's total fundraising came from checks of that size.


We had the CFI crunch the numbers for $250 and they found just 11% of Romney's cash has come from contributions of $250 or less. When you compare this to his rival, the CFI found 49% of the President's fundraising has come from donors who gave $250 or less.