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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama’s Money Machine: Back on Track?

The June fundraising figures for the Obama campaign finally came out yesterday, showing a $52 million haul for the month, and rebutting rumors that the Obama Money Machine had ground to a virtual halt.
John McCain’s campaign raised $22 million in June, about the same amount received by Obama in May. Last week the Wall Street Journal predicted that Obama’s June totals would be around $30 million, an estimate that was only off by about 70%. More generally, and vaguely, there was considerable behind-the-scenes speculation in political circles that Obama’s alleged “move to the middle” might be discouraging his small-donor base. That doesn’t appear to have been the case in June.
Just as importantly, as of June Obama was still tapping donors who hadn’t “maxed out” in terms of the $2,300 contributions limit for the pre-general-election period. As Jim Kuhnhenn of HuffPo explains, only $2 million of Obama’s $52 million for June was “general election” money. Overall, Obama has raised about $340 million, with $12 million being designated for the general election. He can roll over any unused “primary” money to the general election if he wishes, but the key thing to remember is that his campaign hasn’t even begun to go back to its one-and-a-half-million primary donors for general election contributions.
Meanwhile, the DNC had its first good fundraising month in a long while, raising $22 million (as compared to less than $5 million in May). In terms of cash-on-hand, combining personal and party funds, Obama and McCain are roughly even right now. McCain, of course, will receive $84 million in public financing after the convention, but Obama does seem to be back on track towards his goal of raising about $300 million for the general election.

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