The key to Barack Obama’s phenomenal fund-raising success, $58.6 million raised so far, is that he is working both ends of the spectrum equally hard. He is playing the grassroots card for all its worth by registering anyone who buys so much as bumper sticker as a donor and has raised more in small donations than the rest of the Democratic field combined. But he is also tapping the banker class hard. If you look at the five firms from whose employees he’s raised the most money they’re all finance houses: Lehman Brothers, $160,760; Citadel Investment Group, $152,150; Goldman Sachs, $103,550; JP Morgan Chase, $101,950 and Citigroup $61,125.
Just to add to the puzzle, Obama is only spending about half the money he’s raising—considerably less than the other top tier Dems who are burning through 70 odd cents of every dollar they raise. By holding all this money back, Obama is insuring himself any rookie errors he might make: as long as he has this much cash in the bank no one is going to write off his chances. It is one of the many peculiarities of this race that it’s the anti-establishment candidate who is using shed loads of dollars to underwrite his credibility.