Obama takes in $47 million in first fundraising quarter

No, it’s not the $86 million figure that’s been bouncing around since last night, at least not for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign specifically.  Jim Geraghty explained in his first report that the more spectacular figure included money that Obama raised for the DNC.  National Journal’s Reid Wilson got the specifics of what funds went into which coffer, but still calls the Obama result “staggering”:

President Obama‘s campaign will report raising a staggering $47 million in the past three months, his campaign manager said in a web video released early Wednesday morning.

That amount dwarfs the money raised in the last three months by the entire Republican field, underscoring just how great an advantage the incumbent will have over the eventual GOP nominee. Obama’s haul is well over twice as much as the $18 million the leading Republican, Mitt Romney, managed to pull in. …

The Democratic National Committee will report having raised an additional $38 million in the last three months. The two committees may raise money jointly through the Obama Victory Fund, an entity that allows donors to write checks for up to $35,800. That money is divided, with the first $5,000 of any contribution going to Obama’s campaign and the rest going to the DNC (The DNC must report their fundraising totals every month, meaning the committee will report raising about $14 million in June when they file their own reports).

The figure for Obama is staggering, all right, but perhaps not in the sense that Wilson means.  As Geraghty explains, the figures fall well below what is needed for the pledged $1 billion pace, and even well below the pace needed to match Obama’s performance in 2008:

But again, to match his $750 million from the 2008 cycle, Obama would need to average $107 million for seven quarters. Obviously, [it] is possible that Obama can make up ground in the next few quarters. But to hit that hyped $1 billion number, Obama would need to raise a bit more than $142 million per quarter. As impressive as the $86 million figure is, it’s below those markers.

And $47 million is almost half of the pace suggested.  It’s a pretty good number for an incumbent President, but comes just a little shy of George W. Bush’s 2003Q3 figure of $49.5 million.  But if Obama ends up maintaining this pace through the next three quarters, he will have raised just under $200 million in time for the general election — not a piddling amount by any means, but not the kind of fundraising that most people believed we would see from Obama, either.  At that point, Obama would have to raise $200 million a quarter to surpass his fundraising total of 2008, and closer to $270 million per quarter to hit the $1 billion mark.