How High?

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic asks who can claim the public financing high ground in the presidential race, quoting a chunk of an argument by election law scholar Rick Hasen on how "publicly financed" Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama would be in the general election, provided McCain ran using the partial public financing system, and Obama ran with private money that included a larger-than-usual base of small-dollar donors.

Not sure how I feel about the term "micro-donors" that Hasen employs. They're not tiny donors, they just write checks with less than four figures, but I do agree that the uptick in the amount of money coming in in these smaller denominations will give a boost to efforts to advance public financing programs, and even repair the existing presidential system, because it will demonstrate the amount of support that can be leveraged outside the existing rolls of big-money donors.