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What Happened to Obama’s $1 Billion Campaign?

What happened to President Obama’s $1 billion campaign? Complacency happened, according to Politico. While the Obama campaign is still raising an impressive amount of money, apparently the donations have slowed in the fourth quarter – a problem Obama campaign aides are reportedly blaming on a lack of enthusiasm from supporters:

The Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee raked in a combined $68 million in the fourth quarter, bringing their total 2011 haul to $250 million  — an impressive take but not quite up to the blistering pace set by the Bush-Cheney reelection machine over the same period. …

In 2003, Bush-Cheney, combined with the Republican National Committee, took in about $239 million — or $273 million in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars.

Raising less than Bush-Cheney did in 2003 isn’t necessarily a terrible proposition; the Republicans did break fundraising records for that 2004 campaign. But Obama later broke that record in 2008 with his massive $746 million haul. He’s expected to exceed that number, and fundraising pace, in this year’s election.

But last year’s numbers show he’s not yet on track to break any records. While there were reports his campaign planned to raise more than $1 billion for reelection, his campaign has started to downplay its expectations:

The campaign hopes to raise between $700 million and $800 million before November, campaign officials have said in recent weeks. But they fear they will be rivaled, or even surpassed, by the totals collected by GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, the Republican National Committee and shadowy pro-GOP super PACs, which are outpacing Democratic independent expenditure groups.

Because enthusiasm for Obama is currently low, Democrats will probably play on their base’s fear of Republican Super PACs to encourage more donations. Of course, it will be more difficult for them to fear-monger on the issue now that Obama has his own super PAC supporting him.



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