Commentary Magazine


Obama Fundraising Up in March

The combined Obama campaign/Democratic National Committee haul for March was $53 million, an uptick from the $45 million they pulled in the month before. It’s a positive trend for the Obama campaign after a slow winter, but it still doesn’t get them on track to raise the mega-sums they had hoped for:

The president’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee took in a combined $53 million in March through their various fundraising accounts, the Obama camp announced in a video Monday. …

The more interesting test of Obama’s fundraising potential may come in the April numbers, now that it’s unavoidably clear who the Republican nominee will be. High on the list of reasons why Democrats believe Obama’s fundraising has been solid, but not jaw-dropping, is that there hasn’t been a general election-like contrast with a Republican opponent, and financial supporters of both the grassroots and high-dollar variety haven’t felt the urgency they otherwise might.

Ed Morrissey rightly points out that it’s a little premature to read into these numbers, since the DNC and Obama campaign haven’t announced yet how that fundraising was split:

As happens every month, Team Obama announces the overall number first, and only later explains how the money got split.  Usually the DNC gets between 20-25 percent of the haul, which in this case would put the actual cash going into the Obama campaign at $42.5 million or so, but we’ll see.  The joint effort did add 190,000 first-time donors, and had 567,000 donors overall.

That breakdown will tell us how much slack the DNC is picking up. Politico reports that in 2008, the Obama campaign raised $42.8 million without the DNC. And of course, a major indicator of Obama’s supporter enthusiasm is whether he’s on track to meet his 2008 monthly fundraising numbers, which so far he hasn’t been able to.

But that’s not to diminish the Obama campaign/DNC’s fundraising bump. Even if he fails to match his 2008 levels, Obama will still raise a massive amount of money this year, as he should. After all, President Obama has already attended over twice as many fundraisers than President Bush did at this point in his presidency. He better be getting something back for all that time.