Yesterday, the Elizabeth Warren campaign reported that it had raised $8.67 million in the months of April, May, and June. In a press release issued several days in advance of the filing of their required quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission, the Warren campaign attempted to portray Ms. Warren's fundraising as a grassroots juggernaut powered primarily by residents of Massachusetts.
The mainstream media readily provided an assist to this messaging. The Boston Globe, for instance, literally glowed with praise in its description of Ms. Warren’s fundraising:
The millions Warren has raised month after month underscores how the US Senate race in Massachusetts has become a national battleground in the fight for control of the Senate and reflects the enthusiasm she has generated among wealthy donors and grass-roots activists, inside and outside Massachusetts…
Warren’s fund-raising also suggests that questions about her Native American heritage have not hurt her standing with donors. Indeed, the controversy may have helped her to raise money, by energizing her liberal base…
Veteran political operatives said they were stunned by Warren’s fund-raising prowess. She has outraised Brown in each of the three previous quarters, hauling in $15.8 million to his $8.2 million. Her biggest month to date was June, when she took in $3.1 million and received the overwhelming support of the delegates to the state’s Democratic convention.
In yesterday's press release, the Warren campaign said that "81 percent of its donations in the most recent quarter were for $50 or less, and 40,500 came from Massachusetts residents."
This echoed the messaging the Warren campaign used in a press release describing the $6.7 million they raised in the first quarter. The Huffington Post reported that the campaign said that 83% of donations were under $50 and 30,000 contributors came from from Massachusetts.
A look behind the numbers suggests some very important information the Warren campaign has left out and the mainstream media has failed to emphasize. From the inception of her campaign to the end of the first quarter, the majority of her contributions came from out-of-state. Based on the snippets of information provided by the campaign in yesterday's release, it is likely that trend continued, and may well have increased.
Though the Globe could not ignore that "[t]he campaign did not reveal how many donations came from out-of-state contributors, who have given more than half of Warren’s itemized donations," it conveniently hid this information near the bottom of its story.
USA Today reported yesterday that
[A]n Associated Press review of campaign finance reports filed with the FEC... found that Brown raised about 58% of the itemized donations he collected during the first three months of the year from Massachusetts residents, while Warren raised about 43% in itemized donations from Massachusetts supporters during the same period. Itemized donations are contributions of $200 or more.
The Associated Press review of campaign finances looked only at the three months reported in the first quarter of 2012, which may well under report the total percentage of out of state contributions made to the Warren campaign. Breitbart News undertook an analysis of all itemized contributions from individuals (those in excess of $200) reported by the Warren campaign in the three quarterly reports it has filed from its inception until the end of March 31, 2012 – the end of the first quarter of 2012. Out of 11,505 such itemized contributions during this period, we sampled 397. Our methodology was simple. We looked at all those itemized contributors whose last name began with A. Of these 397, a total of 254, or 64%, were from outside of the state of Massachusetts, while only 143, or 36% were residents of Massachusetts.
Additional mathematical analysis of Ms. Warren's first quarter 2012 Federal Election Commission report suggests that, though she received a total of 30,000 donations from residents of Massachusetts during this period, she likely received an additional 40,000 donations from those who lived outside of Massachusetts.
As of June 30, 2012, the Warren campaign reported that it had $13.5 million cash on hand. The Scott Brown campaign's most recent FEC filing showed that it had $13 million cash on hand on March 31, 2012. The Brown campaign's June 30, 2012 cash on hand amount will be reported some time within the next week.
One thing about this Massachusetts Senate election is now clear. It is likely to be the most expensive Congressional race in the country in 2012.
It's also clear that, at least based upon publicly available information to date, the majority of the money donated to Ms. Warren's campaign has come from individuals who live outside of Massachusetts. The Warren campaign has attempted to conceal this fact in the way it has reported its fundraising. Ms. Warren has built her academic career on a body of work that consistently misrepresents and manipulates data to endorse her left-wing political agenda, so it should come as little surprise to anyone that she has used that same technique to describe the underlying data of her own campaign contributions.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.