SarahPAC raises $733,000 in first six months of 2009; Update: Rush wonders about third-party run

Actually, that’s only a five-month total since the PAC wasn’t up and running until the end of January. By comparison, Romney’s PAC raised $1.4 million through the end of May, but then fundraising is pretty much Mitt’s full-time gig these days and he already has a polished team around him left over from the primaries. Let’s see what happens in the second half when he and Palin go toe-to-toe.

The most intriguing detail from Politico’s report:

The majority of the money raised by SarahPAC so far has come in the form of “unitemized contributions,” meaning donations of less than $200 each. PACS are not required to name those small donors in their filings with the FEC. The remaining money came through more than 700 different $200-plus contributions made by donors from all around the United States.

According to its FEC records, SarahPAC’s biggest expenditure during the reporting period was the more than $103,000 it spent on, a Virginia-based firm that specializes in online fundraising.

Not surprisingly, it sounds like she’s going to follow The One’s lead and turn her support among the base into a cash machine via small donations. In fact, one of the co-founders of Team Sarah has an op-ed in the Examiner today urging her to do exactly that. The only problem: Obama didn’t raise most of his money that way. In fact, percentage-wise, he raised less from contributions under $200 than Bush and Kerry did in 2004. What made him a fundraising juggernaut capable of taking down the Clinton machine was the small money he raised combined with his ability to peel off big donors and big party names from Billary. If Palin runs a true outsider campaign in 2012 and tries to win on the strength of the base alone, she risks being overwhelmed by Romney vacuuming up the big money from party chieftains. Which is to say, even an outsider needs “insiders.” Help her, Fred Malek, you’re her only hope!

Exit question: I’m told Glenn Beck was yelling about a third-party on the radio this morning, a subject that’s been on my mind lately. So choose, bearing in mind that a split conservative vote greatly benefits The One. See, e.g., Clinton’s two victories.

Update: He knows third parties are sure losers but the thought of a “true conservative” faction clearly has him intrigued.

When I watched her speech, when she announced that she was leaving the governorship of Alaska, I didn’t hear the word Republican mentioned once. If I’m Sarah Palin and I’m conservative — Republican Party’s been just as mean-spirited to her as the Democrats have. A lot of them have, a lot of Republican media, a lot of the so-called conservative media have been. I don’t know if she’s going to campaign for conservative Democrats but if she believes that conservatism is the way to go. The one thing that does slightly worry me about this is this whole third party business. Yeah, it’s remote but it’s still a possibility out there and there are a lot of people pushing a third party and that’s — Third parties, they lose, they just lose. Third parties never end up with a congressional or Senate candidates. It’s just not the way to go. We’ll save that for later if that actually begins to transpire, we see it beginning to transpire.