WASHINGTON — President Obama’s vast campaign
operation raked in $86 million for his re-election and for the
Democratic Party during the last three months, breaking previous records
with a total far greater than that posted by his Republican opponents
for the 2012 election.
Initially, the Obama campaign had set a goal of
raising $60 million. Republican candidates combined are expected to
raise less than $35 million this quarter.
The Obama amount points to the advantages of
incumbency in fundraising, and to the staggering cost of the coming
election, which this year will feature a new, powerful role for
independent groups that can raise unlimited sums. This year, those
groups could out-raise and outspend the parties and the candidates.
The dollar total for Obama this quarter, announced by
his campaign manager in a video message to supporters Wednesday
morning, reflects $47 million raised for the Obama for America
presidential campaign and an additional $38 million raised jointly with
the Democratic National Committee.
In the video sent by email in the wee hours of
Wednesday morning, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina emphasized the
record breaking number of donors contributing: about 550,000.
“This is a historic number of small dollar, everyday
people,” he said, noting that the campaign does not accept funds from
lobbyists or political action committees.
The number does shatter previous records, and meets
Obama’s goal of launching another campaign that involves a large numbers
of individuals in all 50 states. Still, the total dollars raised were
boosted this quarter thanks to a ramped up effort to court large dollar
donors to joint events with the Democratic National Committee.
For example, The Los Angeles Times reported recently
on a several programs to lure large checks from individual donors. One
program, called “Presidential Partners,” seeks a two year commitment in
exchange for regular briefings and updates from the campaign. The price
of admission: $75,800.
Obama’s closest competitor in the GOP field, Former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, says he will report $18 million
collected during the past three months. In addition, an independent
group supporting Romney says it has raised more than $12 million this
(c) 2011, Tribune Co.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.