WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee raised about twice as much money as its Republican rival during the first month of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, an early indicator of the president's fundraising machine heading into the 2012 election.
The DNC collected $12.4 million in April, more than double the $6.1 million raised by the Republican National Committee during the same month. A DNC official said the party's totals would be filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.
The figures provide a first glimpse of the fundraising abilities of the Obama campaign, which has held several joint fundraisers with the DNC as it ramps up its money machine for next year's presidential election. Obama raised $750 million in 2008, prompting speculation that he could bring in $1 billion for his 2012 re-election campaign.
Obama's re-election campaign is expected to post its first fundraising totals in late June or early July.
Democratic officials said the fundraising included about $7 million from the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama's campaign. At Victory Fund events, the first $5,000 on a donor's contribution goes to the presidential campaign and the remainder goes to the DNC, up to a maximum of $30,800 a year.
In April, Obama headlined fundraisers in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, with some of the proceeds divided between the DNC and his re-election campaign.
Through the end of April, the DNC reported $14.8 million in cash on hand, compared with $5 million for the RNC. The DNC had $15.4 million in debt compared with $18.9 million in debt for the RNC.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been working to reduce the party's massive debt since taking over for former chairman Michael Steele in January. RNC officials estimate that they inherited $24 million in debt when Priebus started as chairman.
Ken Thomas can be reached at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas