Obama, DNC raise $68 million in Q4
posted at 9:50 am on January 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Has the economy improved over the last three quarters? Not for Barack Obama and the DNC. The last quarter of fundraising in 2011 brought in a combined total of $68 million, the lowest of the three reporting quarters last year for both:
President Obama’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $68 million in the last quarter of 2011, campaign manager Jim Messina said in a video e-mailed to supporters on Thursday morning.
The Obama campaign raised $42 million, while the DNC raised the remaining $24 million. Those numbers track closely to third-quarter hauls of $43 million and $27 million, respectively.
It fell a couple of million short combined from Q3, as the National Journal notes, but that’s just half of the story. The Q3 numbers represented a 20% decline from Q2’s $86 million, the first quarter of fundraising for the campaign. So far, Obama on his own has raised $131.8 million in three quarters for an average of $44 million a quarter, a lower average than after the first two quarters.
Campaign manager Jim Messina says Obama’s still doing better than Republicans:
Messina struck an optimistic note on such engagement, arguing that it stands in “stark contrast” to that of the GOP.
“Recent polls and studies show a dropping enthusiasm among Republican primary voters as they get to know their field,” he said.
Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, raised $24 million in the last quarter of 2011, bringing his total since kicking off his campaign in June to $56 million.
That’s an apples-to-oranges argument, though. Romney raised more than half of what Obama did in a split field during a primary. Republican contributors have a half-dozen candidates from which to choose, while Democrats only have Obama. It’s not a surprise that Obama outraised Romney, but it’s notable that he’s not outraising him by a lot.
Compare this instead to the last incumbent President who ran for re-election, George Bush in 2004. His Q3 fundraising in 2003 was $50 million, and he raised another $47.5 million in 2003 Q4. He finished the year at $132.7 million raised, which Obama missed by about a million dollars — and these are not figures adjusted for inflation, either.
Messina might be paid to put a bright spin on this performance, but at this rate, maybe not for long. Instead of running a billion-dollar campaign, he’s underperforming George W. Bush. Bush ended up working within the public-finance system that year, but he raised tons of money right through to the convention in August, finishing with $260.5 million in contributions and $36 million in the bank. At the rate Obama’s going, he’ll raise about $257 million and still have to spend his own money in September and October. Maybe Obama should have “fixed” that “broken” public financing system when he had the chance.