WASHINGTON -- The reelection campaign of President Barack Obama continues to dominate in fundraising as it pulled in $70.1 million from 600,000 donors during the third quarter of 2011.
The big haul is a combination of funds raised by the president’s campaign committee, Obama for America (OFA), and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). OFA raised $42.8 million and the DNC raised $27.3 million.
This total easily surpassed the target goal of $55 million set by the campaign after their huge $86 million second quarter.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced the numbers in an e-mail to supporters, noting that 98 percent of the 600,000 donors gave less than $250. The average donation was $56. In total, Messina says that the campaign has reached 980,000 individual donors.
"Getting to a million grassroots donors isn't just a huge accomplishment this early in the campaign," Messina said. "It's our answer to our opponents, the press, and anyone who wants to know whether the President's supporters have his back."
While the Obama campaign leads the way in its cultivation of a small donor base, it is also helped by a big money donation vehicle known as the Obama Victory Fund. The victory fund allows big money donors to give up to $35,800 each. That money is then split, with $30,800 going to the DNC and $5,000 going to OFA. In the second quarter, the fund accounted for approximately 40 percent of all contributions to the DNC and OFA. The official victory fund numbers will be released on the disclosure date of Oct. 15.
These numbers are markedly different from the candidates in the Republican presidential primary. None of those candidates has posted over $20 million in a quarter and only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) boasts of raising money from more than 100,000 individual donors in a quarter.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, recently the subject of withering attacks from the DNC, reported raising more than $18 million in the second quarter of the year to lead the Republican field. He is expected to announce a haul in the third quarter in excess of $14 million. This will likely trail the amount that Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised since his entry into the race in August.
Despite this lack of fundraising enthusiasm on the right, the Obama campaign whips up its supporters with the potential spending bonanza by outside groups.
"We're up against a Republican Party and special interest-funded groups that will spend hundreds of millions of dollars spreading any message that they believe will defeat the President and roll back our efforts to build a fairer economy that rewards hard work and responsibility, not large corporations," Messina said.
When the full numbers are officially revealed Oct. 15, numbers for the big money outside groups like super PACs will remain under wraps. Super PACs do not have to file again until the end of January, after the first primaries and caucuses are held.