Obama’s fundraising drying up

posted at 8:55 am on September 9, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s reversal on public financing supposedly freed him to enjoy the riches of his prolific fundraising, but it also forced him to maintain that rate throughout the campaign.  According to the New York Times, Team Obama has gotten very nervous about its finances over the last couple of weeks, and may have fallen far below what they need to conduct the campaign:

After months of record-breaking fund-raising, a new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama’s fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign’s decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it.

Pushing a fund-raiser later this month, a finance staff member sent a sharply worded note last week to Illinois members of its national finance committee, calling their recent efforts “extremely anemic.” …

The signs of concern have become evident in recent weeks as early fund-raising totals have suggested that Mr. Obama’s decision to bypass public financing may not necessarily afford him the commanding financing advantage over Senator John McCain that many had originally predicted.

How bad could it be?  According to one source, a California fundraiser, the DNC only raised $17 million, a drop-off of six million dollars from July — in a month where the party held its convention.  The Obama campaign reported a $10 million payday last Thursday, after Sarah Palin’s speech, but apparently that didn’t make the Obama campaign comfortable with their position.  In comparison, the McCain campaign raised $47 million and the RNC $22 million in August, their best combined performance by far in the campaign.

David Plouffe tried to spin it as best he could.  He claims that a majority of Obama donors have not yet contributed to the general election, and that they expect between $70-80 million over the next two months.  Unfortunately, by declining public financing (and reneging on his campaign pledge), Obama turned down $84 million, which he could have received without spending money on fundraising.  It’s difficult to see how this decision benefited Obama, if the entire upside now is that Obama will raise slightly less for himself while the DNC continues underperforming against the RNC.

Obama has to announce his August numbers next week, and they’d better be spectacular to offset both his costs and the sudden McCain fundraising juggernaut.  One imagines that if they were that good, we’d have seen the numbers by now, but they’ve sandbagged earlier this summer, too.  They need at least another $52 million just to keep pace on the top line, and given their burn rate, they may need somewhere around $80 million in order to have as much cash on hand as the Republicans.


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Maybe he can get funds from Hillary

grapeknutz on September 9, 2008 at 10:01 AM

If Bambi loses just think how gun shy the Demos will be next time around (not that this will be the primary benefit of him losing).

rockhead on September 9, 2008 at 9:27 AM

If the Democrats happen to lose this election then perhaps next time they will do something truly radical and find themselves candidates who are actually fit for the job; people of experience, competence and integrity and whose qualifications extend beyond gender, connections and skin colour.

YiZhangZhe on September 9, 2008 at 10:04 AM

DJ Tablesauce on September 9, 2008 at 9:54 AM

+1

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Maybe they can get back the $800,000 they gave to ACORN while they’re at it.

rockmom on September 9, 2008 at 10:05 AM

If the republicans don’t put in a grassroots effort to have an army of trained poll sitters

Is there an online poll training course to prep volunteers?

I wrote my county GOP Chairman yesterday, and look forward to his response. I’m hoping the county GOP headquarters are inundated by volunteers, but would still like to be of help organizing GOP efforts in my neighborhood. We’ve been beset by incoming propaganda, a new but well organized offshoot from the Austin-American Statesman ubertard rag.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:06 AM

The way things are going in D.C., I bet he could call Henry Paulson and get some money.

BigD on September 9, 2008 at 10:06 AM

I hear Jefferson may have another freezer…

right2bright on September 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM

As I have mentioned in other forums, I don’t think we have heard the last of this from Obama. Look for the Obama camp to insist that they must be given the 84 million in public funds because not to do so would be UNFAIR. And after everyone says no, the sue. It’s coming, be sure of it if the donations come up short in reality. You watch someone in the Obama camp is going to float this trial balloon if they come up short as it appears they will.

mustng66 on September 9, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Maybe they can get back the $800,000 they gave to ACORN while they’re at it.

rockmom on September 9, 2008 at 10:05 AM

They can’t get that money back. That’s how they’re planning to win.

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2008 at 10:08 AM

mustng66
We’ll enjoy the target shoot!

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

I’m new to Hotair and an Australian.

I’m not totally familiar with the US electoral system. As far as I see it McCain is now ahead on the overall vote but too close to call in the Electoral College. Should I be concerned that the GOP could win the overall vote and fall short in the Electoral College. Or is it still too early to say now?

On another note the MSM in Australia is just as biased as in the US. Sometimes worse.

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Crux Australis
Welcome!

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Dear Hollywood:

Send money.

Love,
Obama

hadsil on September 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM

My login name is a cryptic form of Aussie patriotism.

Crux Australis = the Southern Cross that appears on the Australian flag.

Any other Aussies on Hotair?

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Obama chose the path providing thick camouflage to make discovery of his criminal finance “too late” while he pursues his Frank Abagnale Jr. “Catch Me If You Can” POTUS campaign venture.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 9:58 AM

You make a very serious accusation … do you have evidence to support your allegation?

YiZhangZhe on September 9, 2008 at 10:16 AM

What does this this say about his “judgement”? What does this say about his “executive ability”, in running a campaign?

exdeadhead on September 9, 2008 at 10:19 AM

10:09

The American political tables are turning. Like a tug of war, don’t let go too soon! Last night I heard that Ohio is with McCain, Hurrah! Without Ohio, hope we can believe in
has some work to perform; faith without works is dead.

btw, I was astonished that it was no joke getting fined as an Australian citizen for not voting. The people’s voice is certainly heard. After the popular vote in Australia, any other echelon of politicking before results are determined?

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Don’t start cheering yet. Remember back in June/July when all the buzz was about bad fundraising, and in the end the numbers were big.

Clark1 on September 9, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Welcome. You have a pretty good understanding of the way things work. The popular vote is just a general indicator of the way things are going. It’s the states that count. The system is set up so that big cities can’t control the politics of the whole country.

Most years the election comes down to handful of key states. This year is similar. Keep an eye on states like Ohio, Penn, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Colorado.

On a side note, Aussies rock. Other than Israel you guys are the best friends America has.

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2008 at 10:24 AM

YiZhangZhe on September 9, 2008 at 10:16 AM

sealed records:
birth certificate
university transcripts

Steve Diamond’s blog Labor and Unions is just one online source for information regarding Obama’s history, modus operandi including campaign finance.

Enjoy your homework.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Well, Obama, that’s what your dumbass gets for running against those rich Republicans. What were you thinking?

Virus-X on September 9, 2008 at 10:28 AM

A perfect example of the Dems’ motto:

TaxSpend As You Go

Obama camp spent whatever was on hand, thinking the well never would dry up. Just like their supply of the American Rich, they can always squeeze more taxes out from them.

Sir Napsalot on September 9, 2008 at 10:29 AM

More “Judgment” from The One.

Cicero43 on September 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM

10:28 “rich” snark

The economic classification of party memberships is mutually compatible. There are as many economically challenged Republicans as Democrats, and as many wealthy and financially independent Democrats as Republicans.

The obvious differential factor remains THOUGHT or the lack thereof; as the DNC dictates Marx for public drone life, while the RNC sustains the US Constitution and the right of individuals to choose pursuit of happiness.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Welcome, sir/madam/mate. You came along at a good time. Most of the trolls appear to have returned to the DKos fever swamp, and the conversation is much more pleasant and focused.

ManlyRash on September 9, 2008 at 10:34 AM

@BadgerHawk

On a side note, Aussies rock. Other than Israel you guys are the best friends America has.

I was going to say that the US and Israel are best friends Australia has in the World.

Coincidence?

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Coincidence?
Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Nah. Kindred spirits. I like you already.

ManlyRash on September 9, 2008 at 10:36 AM

I found Hot Air as I was watching a Michelle Malkin video on Youtube.

I googled her name and found Hot Air.

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Has Obama suspended/halted TV advertising in any battleground states yet? If he’s having money troubles, he’ll have to consolidate, and thus tip his hand on where he expects to lose. Fl? VA? Let’s hope.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2008 at 9:10 AM

I remember an article a couple weeks ago where the Obama Campaign announced that they were suspending or cutting back their campaigns in several states. Florida was listed, as we Virginia. The write up suggested that Virginia was only a pulling of TV ads, but everything I’ve read about Florida suggests that Obama’s polling services have declared him DOA in the state for the general, and he will be closing up shop shortly.

Obama also was cutting back on spending in the western states, fulling pulling out of Montana. With Palin being the phenomenom she is, I expect he’ll abandon Nevada and New Mexico shortly, and he might pull out of Colorado, basically ceding the few western states he was fighting over to McCain.

And he is going to have to campaign heavily in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania to hold those states as well. Obama’s poor cash management is swiftly sinking what remains of his campaign.

mvargus on September 9, 2008 at 10:43 AM

One thing that I find strange is:

in Australia Red=liberal and Blue=conservative

imagine my consternation the first time I delved into US politics. lol

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

On another note the MSM in Australia is just as biased as in the US. Sometimes worse.

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Just curious. We’re pretty much in an undeclared war here, and it won’t end til one side is largely destroyed. You in that same situation there?

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Obama’s poor cash management is swiftly sinking what remains of his campaign.

mvargus on September 9, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Yeah, European vacations are mighty expensive these days.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Wimpy Obama persists in proving his inadequacy. He gave his word and broke it. He’s signed a business contract and can not break it. To whine only discredits his image, advertising his lack of credibility that underscores his incompetent and juvenile diplomacy. As yet, Obama is the old epitome of juvenile delinquency.

Obama settled upon his own campaign finance legal contract.

Pacta sunt servanda.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 10:48 AM

I’m new to Hotair and an Australian.

I’m not totally familiar with the US electoral system. As far as I see it McCain is now ahead on the overall vote but too close to call in the Electoral College. Should I be concerned that the GOP could win the overall vote and fall short in the Electoral College. Or is it still too early to say now?

On another note the MSM in Australia is just as biased as in the US. Sometimes worse.

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

I don’t think McCain is in danger of winning the popular vote and then losing the electoral college. Obama is most likely going to have landslide level wins in Illinois, New York and California (3 states with large cities), which will keep the popular vote close. McCain has most of the smaller states and much of the south already. Right now there are really maybe 8-10 states which will be fought over, and most were (D) states last election.

Obama was hoping to get Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico to go his way, but he now trails in the polls in all those states, and others in the west he was going to fight for, he is pulling back on his campaign or abandoning completely.
McCain with his selection of Palin, has an opportunity to flip several Rust Belt states that have been voting (D) for the last few electiosn, particularly Michigan which is in a state of flux. Because of the electoral college split, McCAin is in a much stronger position right now, and with him having the momentum, he should be able to pull out a victory.

mvargus on September 9, 2008 at 10:49 AM

I googled her name and found Hot Air.

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:40 AM

You’re lucky. I’ve been cruising blogs for years, and HotAir is far and away the best. Civil, generally intelligent discourse with healthy doses of sarcasm. It doubles as a nice news aggregator too.

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2008 at 10:49 AM

I think an awesome flash would be a caricature of O’bama grabbing all kinds of different positions through gymnastics…then having a caricature of keef give him a perfect 10 for landing right back where he started….

“announcer voice” “Right back where he started….Judgement to lead?”

sven10077 on September 9, 2008 at 10:53 AM

sven10077 on September 9, 2008 at 10:53 AM –

Now that’s funny…

One of the songs played during the Dem Convention was Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.”

Was one of those in-between-speakers interludes.

But, approrpriate? Yep.

coldwarrior on September 9, 2008 at 10:59 AM

war here, and it won’t end til one side is largely destroyed

Put poorly, as if from a Marxist.

It is in the renaissance of citizen’s understanding of our Constitutional heritage that the Marxist (whether communist or fascist) limitations upon citizen’s lives will be defeated.

Speaking for myself and the GOP as I understand it, “destroying” a side (population) is certainly not the war in which I am embroiled with this election campaign.

I believe the majority of Americans want less interference in their personal lives, and reject the DNC Marxist stance that the Democrats have all rights and privileges to dictate all aspects of business, income, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and reinvent the Constitution only as Marx would have it for the entire population.

As Democrats publicly and privately pursue criminal activities to purposely harm their opponents bodily, economically and socially, they should and must be detained and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And that amounts to nada without Rule of Law, an imperative reason to support the GOP candidates now.

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM

“announcer voice” “Right back where he started….Judgement to lead?”–sven10077 on September 9, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Rudy! imitating Obama will always bring me a chuckle.

“Should I vote yes? Should I vote no? I can’t decide!”

maverick muse on September 9, 2008 at 11:10 AM

One thing that I find strange is:

in Australia Red=liberal and Blue=conservative

imagine my consternation the first time I delved into US politics. lol

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

I’ve always been dumfounded by this also. When I think of red, I think of socialists/communists. That should be the color of the donks, not blue.

cjs1943 on September 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Any other Aussies on Hotair?

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:15 AM

In spirit and in (some) family, let me put it that way. I’d be living on a sweet blueberry farm in Coff’s Harbor as I write this if I had my druthers.

Welcome to Hot Air, I hope you’ll frequent the place.

S on September 9, 2008 at 11:17 AM

One thing that I find strange is:

in Australia Red=liberal and Blue=conservative

imagine my consternation the first time I delved into US politics. lol

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

As I understand, it used to be that way in the US as well (definitions of libral vs. conservative aside), with the Democrats as red and the Republicans as blue. There is a website around somewhere that still graphs things that way.
I’m told that the change happened around the same time the press jumped into bed with the Democrats (did Hollywood start color coding bad guys as red and good guys as blue somewhere around then? Or maybe it has something to do with military friend-or-foe coloring?)

Count to 10 on September 9, 2008 at 11:19 AM

One thing that I find strange is:

in Australia Red=liberal and Blue=conservative

imagine my consternation the first time I delved into US politics. lol

Crux Australis on September 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

I know, takes some adjusting. Same with the whole “Labour” versus “Conservative” Party things in England — opposite of what you’d think they meant, I beieve (and Ireland, Democrats are the Conservatives, to get even more confusing).

S on September 9, 2008 at 11:21 AM

I’ve always been dumfounded by this also. When I think of red, I think of socialists/communists. That should be the color of the donks, not blue.

cjs1943 on September 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM

I’d have to guess the Dem interior designers got to the color-wheel first? “Red is just such an angry color…it just says angry angry angry all over it. Blue? Well, that’s just such a happy color!”

coldwarrior on September 9, 2008 at 11:23 AM

What is the burn rate for Sen. Obama campaign? I have heard it is 4 to 5 times the amount for administration cost compared to Sen. McCain and anyone have the numbers on this.

JeffinSac on September 9, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I don’t think McCain is in danger of winning the popular vote and then losing the electoral college. Obama is most likely going to have landslide level wins in Illinois, New York and California (3 states with large cities), which will keep the popular vote close. McCain has most of the smaller states and much of the south already. Right now there are really maybe 8-10 states which will be fought over, and most were (D) states last election

Rasmussen had some post-convention state polls up last night:

OH McCain 51 Obama 44
VA McCain 49 Obama 47
FL McCain 48 Obama 48
PA McCain 45 Obama 47
CO McCain 46 Obama 49

McCain absolutely NEEDS Florida to win, so the tie there could be trouble, and McCain might need to spend some money and time there. PA is close, and could be flipped if McCain could win the Philly suburbs. Philadelphia is heavily Democrat, but a high turnout in conservative areas (northeast and central PA, the Pittsburgh suburbs) plus the Philly suburbs could win it for McCain.

Gallup also had some McCain support numbers by region:

East 44%
Midwest 46%
South 58%
West 44%

While it’s unclear which states are included in each region, the 44% “East” number could include landslide losses (for McCain) in NY, NJ, and MA but a possible win in PA. The “Midwest” number probably includes Obama-strong IL, but McCain might be running well in OH, MO, and MI, while losing MN and WI–it would be helpful to have the Obama number and the undecideds.

McCain will probably win the entire South, with only FL and VA in doubt. But this 58% could include a big lead in vote-rich TX, and might hide weakness in FL.

The 44% support in the “West” probably includes a big loss in CA, which probably drowns out whatever is happening in other states, although McCain is likely to win a landslide in AZ. The crucial Western states are CO, NV, and NM, with CO being the most important.

This same Gallup poll also shows McCain winning independent voters 52-37, which could flip the Electoral College to McCain if they are in the swing states.

Steve Z on September 9, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Considering the Liberty and a couple other things, I would plunk the Aussies down on the table as the best friends we got bar none. There’s enough leftards there to make our leftards feel at home, but the majority are down-to-earth good hearted people very much like us. I chalk it up to a similar background — both nations started as a dumping ground for the people England, and later the rest of the world, didn’t want.
Guess we showed them all what ‘undesirables’ can do.

TABoLK on September 9, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Red for rednecks, blue for blue-bloods. The Dems are elitist snobs, after all.

TABoLK on September 9, 2008 at 11:52 AM

The flipping that Obama has done on accepting public financing is reminiscent of his flipping on ethical reform.

We need to recirculate the 2006 exchange in correspondence between Obama and McCain to remind people that Obama doesn’t honor his agreements, number one; number two, that he was against change before he was for it.

Tennman on September 9, 2008 at 11:54 AM

I guess Obama will have to start laying off all those people working from their basements, posting propaganda all over the Internet. Uh, assuming Axelrod and Obama are astroturfing. Which of course they wouldn’t be. They love America too much. Change!

indythinker on September 9, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Looks like I was ahead of the curve on my slogan suggestion for the Obama camp:

Brother can you spare some CHANGE?

Damiano on September 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM

They’d better start text messaging…and quick!

That gurgling sound you hear getting louder is the Obama campaign rapidly circling the drain…

Wyznowski on September 9, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Just remember, those of you on the left, what Margaret Thatcher said: “The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Big John on September 9, 2008 at 1:01 PM

The Obama campaign is sandbagging us. They’re planting this meme about low fundraising numbers so they can get a bump from announcing a bigger fundraising haul.

PackerBronco on September 9, 2008 at 1:41 PM

This is the killer point because EVERYONE agrees on it. No one likes having the best government money can buy.

If Obama runs into money trouble, or even SEEMS TO BE running into money trouble, the response FROM HIS SUPPORTERS will be, “you dumb .” Then his money troubles snowball.

To a raving lefty, the silver lining will be that no future candidate would DARE decline public financing.

“It was Obama’s Waterloo.”

Pythagoras on September 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Maybe Obama can just start charging all his volunteers for their time. After all, didn’t he sell tickets to his Invesco Field show?

Crux Australis – Welcome, I was deployed to the desert with some of your guys last year. Awesome bunch of folks. Hope you enjoy the conversations here. Curious, what are the more popular blogs for Australian politics?

Kevin71 on September 9, 2008 at 8:19 PM

Comment pages: 1 2