Money is the mother’s milk of politics, as the old saying goes, and the slow motion realignment of our two major political parties has changed who raises more money from the rich and who raises more from small donors.
A pair of major developments give us a hint about how future trends will develop on the partisan battleground.
First: Heading into the 2020 election, President Trump is on track to far surpass President Barack Obama’s record in collecting small donor contributions — those under $200 — lending weight to his claim of populist legitimacy.
Second: Democratic candidates and their party committees are making inroads in gathering contributions from the wealthiest of the wealthy, the Forbes 400, a once solid Republican constituency. Democrats are also pulling ahead in contributions from highly educated professionals — doctors, lawyers, tech executives, software engineers, architects, scientists, teachers and so on.