President Obama’s high-dollar donations lagging compared with the 2008 election

March 19, 2012

Government/Politics

Obama’s high-dollar donations lagging

Picking up the pace, President Barack Obama raised $45 million for his re-election bid in February, bringing his total to about $300 million for this election cycle, his campaign said Monday. In February and the average donation was about $59 for the entire election cycle. Nearly 98 percent of the donations were $250 or less.

Obama has boosted fundraising efforts in recent weeks, holding events last month in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Last week, Obama raised money in Chicago and Atlanta. Obama’s numbers soundly trumped his GOP rivals in February fundraising. Mitt Romney brought in about $11.5 million, whereas Rick Santorum and Ron Paul brought in roughly $9 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Newt Gingrich has not released his February totals yet
 

By T.W. Farnam
The Washington Post

President Obama is struggling to draw in big-dollar donations, with half as many people writing large checks to his campaign than at this point four years ago.

Obama is outpacing his Republican rivals in fundraising overall, and his advisers have concentrated on amassing small-dollar backers, part of a strategy to get more people invested in the reelection effort. At the end of January, 1.4 million people had donated to the Obama campaign, responding to appeals for contributions as small as $2.

But Obama lags behind Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in finding donors willing to give $2,000 or more — a surprising development for a sitting president, and one that could signal more worrisome financial problems heading into the general election. At this point in the last election cycle, Obama had received such large donations from more than 23,000 supporters, more than double the 11,000 who have given him that much this time. President George W. Bush had more than four times that number of big donations at this point in his reelection.

Democrats see a variety of possible explanations for such a dramatic drop in big-dollar contributions. The ailing economy has dampened fundraising overall. Some wealthy liberals and Wall Street executives alike have grown disaffected with the president over time. And the extended Republican primary has shined a spotlight on a field of potential rivals that many Democrats believe Obama will easily beat.

“Some people think these Republicans are easy marks, and they aren’t taking it as seriously as they need to yet,” said Judy Wise, one of Obama’s “bundlers,” the campaign term for people who host events and gather checks from other donors.

Whatever the reason, Obama appears to be redoubling his efforts to extract bigger contributions from his support base. He has stepped up his fundraising events in recent weeks, taking swings through several different regions for more than 40 events in 2012. On Friday, the president did five events in two states with an expected haul of at least $5.5 million.

See link for full article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-high-dollar-donations-lagging/2012/03/09/gIQApeitKS_story.html

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