The Barack Obama campaign has announced through a new video that their joint fundraising in March collected over $53 million. That improves on a $45 million February, and gives Team Obama a talking point for today. Or does it?
The Obama campaign and other Democratic organizations raised a combined $53 million in March, according to a campaign video released on Monday.
That $53 million total comes from Obama for America, the Obama Victory Fund and the Democratic National Committee, among other groups. With the average contribution totaling about $57.78, roughly 97 percent of contributions were $250 or less.
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% 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.
These aren’t bad numbers, but they aren’t good news for Obama, either. In March 2008, the Obama campaign raised on its own over $56.7 million. Nor were they the only Democrats in the field raising cash. Hillary Clinton raised $35.8 million in the same month, for a combined Democratic haul four years ago of $92.5 million. Obama should have access to all of the same donors by himself this time around, as he has not faced a primary challenge. Instead, Obama remains significantly off of his own 2008 pace of fundraising, and way under the Democratic donation performance of that cycle.
The only good point about this is that his burn rate should be significantly lower, which means he is stockpiling a lot more cash this time around, although perhaps not as much more as one would imagine. The Washington Post reports that his cash-on-hand in mid-March was $85 million; his cash-on-hand at the end of March 2008 was $38.8 million. On the fundraising figures, though, he’s not going to get to 2008’s $760 million at this rate, or even anywhere close.