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ActBlue Tallies One Millionth Contribution

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 10 2010

The netroots online fundraising platform ActBlue passed a big milestone today: it tallied the one-millionth contribution to flow through its system since being founded in 2004. The group's director of communications, Adrian Arroyo, sent out a celebratory email blast that touted "the structural advantage that we've bequeathed to Democrats across the country, ...one that's unmatched by any other group on either side of the aisle."

One fact that jumps out about ActBlue's current fundraising data: in the first quarter of 2010, it processed twice as many individual contributions as it did two years ago, in the thick of the Democratic presidential primary battle: 109,891 to 52,151. The average donation size also dropped from $133 to $92, indicating greater participation by smaller donors.

Looking at the current crop of Democratic candidates benefiting from what we might call the "ActBlue effect," we see several who are definitely netroots-style challengers, rather than favorites of the DC establishment: Bill Halter, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas; Joe Sestak, who is doing the same to Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania; Michael Bennet, ditto in Colorado. Other favorites of ActBlue donors: Reps. Alan Grayson, Chellie Pingree, Anthony Wiener and Jared Polis, each of which have earned points with the progressive base for their forthright votes and positions on some tough issues.

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