Obama's 2012 Campaign Reports Monster Haul, Romney Reigns Above GOP Hopefuls
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama set a high bar for 2012 presidential campaign fundraising after reporting a haul of $46 million in his second quarter campaign finance filings released on Friday. The president's campaign is, yet again, relying on a mix of small-dollar donors and big-dollar bundlers to pay for a campaign that experts project will raise a total of close to $1 billion. Obama's closest competitor in the money race is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who raised $18 million in the second quarter.
Obama's campaign pulled in 47 percent of its contributions from donors giving less than $250, an indication that the president still has the support of the donor base that drove him to victory in 2008.
This doesn't mean that the Obama campaign is shunning big money. The campaign also relied on a stable of 244 bundlers, donors who collect checks to deliver to the campaign. Those bundlers delivered at least $37 million, according to campaign's report of the minimum amount each bundler produced. This total was for both the Obama campaign and the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising vehicle, according to campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.
The campaign also relied on a joint fundraising vehicle that forwarded $20.5 million to the Democratic National Committee and $12.75 million to Obama for America. The Obama Victory Fund raised more than 50 percent of its total from donors maxing out at $35,800 and more than 90 percent from donors giving $10,000.
According to a HuffPost analysis of the campaign's money, no single company or institution emerged as a big source of donations for the Obama campaign. In 2008, the campaign raised $1.5 million from employees of the University of California, $994,795 from Goldman Sachs employees, $854,747 from Harvard employees, $833,617 from Microsoft employees, and $803,436 from Google employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This time around, the campaign has not yet raised more than $100,000 from the employees of any single company or institution.
The 2012 campaign with the second biggest quarterly haul, that of Mitt Romney, is currently tapping only the institutional, big-donor money while failing to raise money from small-dollar donors.
Romney's primary campaign raised only 6 percent of its total money, or $1.1 million, from donors giving less than $250. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), by comparison, raised 66 percent of her total haul of $1.6 million from small-dollar donors.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is also struggling on the small-donor front, having raised only 10 percent of his total from those giving less than $250.
The biggest donors to Romney's campaign came from Wall Street. Employees of Goldman Sachs gave $238,2350, Credit Suisse employees gave $157,000, those from Morgan Stanley gave $113,700 and employees of Bain Capital, the investment firm formerly headed by Romney, gave $83,500.
Romney's big-dollar donors also include a number of bundlers who raised money for the 2008 presidential bid of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). A total of 78 of the big-dollar bundlers for McCain's campaign contributed to Romney's campaign in the second quarter of this year. Romney's next closest competitor for these bundled donations is Pawlenty, who received contributions from just 22 McCain bundlers.
Romney's $18 million haul may look impressive when compared to his opponents' money, but it is still less than the $21 million he had pulled by this stage in his previous run for the Republican presidential nomination. And at that point in the 2008 campaign, Romney was only the third-biggest fundraiser in the GOP field.
A look at the state-by-state donations shows how dominant Romney is at the moment: He currently leads the money race in 42 states. Pawlenty leads in five states, while Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) leads in three.
In the map below, Romney states are red, Pawlenty states are green, and Paul states are blue.
Super PACs are also expected to aid Romney's primary campaign. The Raise Our Future committee was started by Romney supporters and has the ability to raise unlimited funds from individuals, corporations and unions. The committee has not yet filed a report detailing their contributions but did publicly state that their haul for the second quarter would be around $12 million. While the committee legally cannot coordinate with the Romney campaign, it will provide additional support for a candidate who has already raised more money than all of his primary competitors combined.
Paul and Pawlenty had the second- and third-highest funds raised during the second quarter with $4.5 million and $4.3 million, respectively.
Bachmann, however, may prove to be Romney's biggest money competitor. The Minnesota representative, one of the best fundraisers in Congress, pulled in $1.6 million in just two weeks' time, after jumping into the race on June 14. She also transferred $2 million from her House campaign account to her primary campaign.
Pizza mogul Herman Cain raised $2.5 million and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich raised $2.1 million. Gingrich, however, ended the quarter with debts over $1 million, half of which are due to the private jet provider Moby Dick Airways.
Former Ambassador to China and former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman has not yet reported a total, but stated that his total will exceed $4 million, half of which came out of his own pocket. No other candidate reported raising more than $1 million.
The Democratic National Committee continued its fundraising dominance with a reported $12 million raised in June, the second biggest month this year for the party committee. This brings the committee's total for the year to $63 million raised.
The Republican National Committee has not yet reported its monthly haul for June, but the committee's report covering the year through May showed a haul of just more than $30 million.