- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Republicans have attracted more than 1 million new donors since President Bush was inaugurated — more than during all eight years of the Reagan presidency, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said yesterday.

The news came a day after Mr. Bush’s re-election campaign organization reported the shattering of another record. Campaign officials said the president on Tuesday raised a total of $5.3 million within 12 hours from a stop in Chicago and another in Cincinnati.

Until then, the most he had raised in a single day was $5.2 million. That was in June in California. So far, the president’s re-election campaign effort has amassed $84 million in contributions, campaign officials said.

Mr. Gillespie said the new-donor achievement suggests that Mr. Bush and his policies resonate with millions of ordinary people whose average first-time donation is less than $30.

“People across the county appreciate his strong, principled leadership and his message,” Mr. Gillespie said. “That’s why more than a million people who were not involved with our party before are involved now.”

Mr. Gillespie said the new-donor record came despite “a constant stream of hard, personal attacks on the president from Democrats who want to energize their core voters.”

But the Democrats attacks also “energize our voters, along with an awful lot of voter in the middle who probably would not otherwise contribute to our party,” he said.

Mr. Gillespie said that such voluntary, small-donor giving affirms the broad appeal of Republican policies under Mr. Bush. These donors have concluded that the policies of the president and his party “are best for their families and the future of this country,” he said.

The previous record of 853,595 new contributors was set over the eight-year span of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

The RNC reported that the average contribution it has received so far is $29.80 per donor. The donations came from all 50 states, the District, four territories, and 33,158 ZIP codes.

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