DemFromCT posts on the DailyKos about the importance to the Kerry campaign of online donations by small donors:
Kerry, of course, was a relative late-comer to the Internet, but who will remember that tomorrow? And with the obvious corporate edge that the GOP has, the whole concept of the small donor has to be integrated into Democratic politics and practice to keep the playing field even.
Integrating small donors into the Democratic party is going to be the real project in the coming years. Right now the Democrats have a natural fundraising incentive in George W. Bush. Many of those donors are giving money to the Kerry campaign not out of any particular love of Kerry or the Democrats but because they want to defeat Bush and it is the easiest way to help achieve that goal.
But, once Bush is defeated, will those small donors continue to provide the money the Democrats need to make up for the advantages the Republicans have in this area? They won't if the party comes to expect that all it takes to raise this kind of money is to just put up a link on a web page. They won't if the party doesn't understand that it is only because of the rank-n-files distaste for Bush and the Republicans that they are managing to remain within parity with the GOP. In order for the small donor to become a more permanent fixture in the Democratic party the small donors will have to feel that they are actually influencing the direction of the party.
Now, the goal of defeating Bush is so paramount right now that this issue is one that doesn't need to be hashed over right now. I bring it up now only as a warning to the party not to get comfortable with the kind of success Kerry has had this year.