A month ago, the combined haul from the Barack Obama campaign and the DNC came to $53 million, a level that didn’t keep pace with 2008 Democratic fundraising, but still gave Team O some bragging rights for the improvement over a $45 million February. According to their announcement this morning, the Obama/DNC effort couldn’t even match February’s numbers, let alone March’s:
The Obama campaign and the Democratic committees that support it raised $43.6 million in April, campaign manager Jim Messina announced in an online video on Wednesday.
With 98 percent of all donations less than $250, more than 437,000 people donated to the campaign, including roughly 169,500 first time donors. The average contribution was just more than $50.
This comes as the President has gone on a record-smashing fundraising schedule, which seemingly is now demonstrating the law of diminishing returns. Don’t forget that the final cash tally to Team O will likely be around 75% of the overall number, probably around $33 million, with the DNC getting the rest. He will undoubtedly do better in May, thanks to the $15 million haul on George Clooney’s basketball court, but this shows how badly Obama needed the cash infusion.
It also explains a couple of initiatives from Democrats reported by Politico this morning. The first relates indirectly to Obama, a convention fundraising scheme called “Super-O-Rama,” which may raise money too far into the schedule to be effective:
The kitschy name is for a massive fundraising push at the national convention in Charlotte, where Democrats aim to woo elusive big donors with parties featuring live music, open bars and mingling with “senior Democratic policy leaders,” according to a fundraising appeal.
Democrats hope the events will lead to a massive cash infusion for three super PACs that have struggled to pull in the big checks necessary to compete with GOP outside advertising juggernauts like the Karl Rove-conceived Crossroads outfits and the Koch brothers-linked Americans for Prosperity.
But the plan isn’t perfect. The Democratic National Convention is just two months before the general election — too late to spend any money raised there on ads, some Democrats worry. Plus, conventions do not typically lend themselves to the type of one-on-one meetings where mega donors usually sign six- and seven-figure checks.
Super-PACs? I thought Obama and the Democrats hate super-PACs. They’ve become desperate enough to love them now, apparently, and not just at the presidential level, either:
Congressional Democrats who publicly proclaimed that super PACs are the scourge of modern politics are now going all out to chase the big money that’s fueling the 2012 campaign.
With little fanfare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his top lieutenants are crisscrossing the country from the Southwest to the Big Apple, meeting with billionaires, high-level business executives and union leaders in a mad scramble to raise money for Majority PAC — and perhaps save their slim Senate majority.
Their efforts are already paying dividends. Earlier this spring, Reid and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a quick trip to New York, where they made a pitch to billionaire hedge fund manager James Simons, who quickly turned around and cut a check on March 29 to Majority PAC for $1 million, according to campaign finance reports. That’s on top of the $500,000 Simons donated to Majority PAC last year, making him the biggest donor to the group so far.
Reid, Schumer and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have recently attended Majority PAC fundraisers in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington and Dallas, according to Democratic sources. But the efforts have been made quietly, and their offices have been generally mum on the details given the sensitivity of the issue.
They’ll need it. Obama has already put Reid and Nancy Pelosi on notice that he’s not into redistribution of fundraising wealth, er, sharing when it comes to money he’s raising, and that has becoming a shrinking resource anyway. Looks like people are literally not buying Obama’s schtick these days, and his campaign economy seems to be heading the same direction as the economy Obama has tried to manage the last three years.