President Barack Obama stepped up his fundraising efforts last month, raking in $45 million for his re-election bid and bringing his war chest total to about $300 million, the campaign announced today.
The February haul is a significant uptick from the $29.1 million Obama raised in January, and leave the campaign with about $75 million cash on hand. That puts Obama far ahead of likely Republican rival Mitt Romney, who raised $11 million last month and has about $7.8 million in the bank.
But the President’s recent fundraising gains do little to quell concerns that the campaign is struggling to woo big money donors. Last month’s haul is still less than the $56 million Obama raised during the same month in 2008, when he was still locked in a primary battle with Hillary Clinton.
An FEC analysis by the Washington Post shows that only 11,175 people have given Obama $2,000 or more this election cycle, down from more than 23,000 during the same period in 2008. His re-election campaign now trails far behind Romney in convincing donors to fork over big checks.
Obama’s fundraising problems are particularly acute among donors in the financial sector; Romney has raised nearly three times more Wall Street cash than Obama during this election cycle.
The Obama campaign has publicly brushed over its big-donor problem, touting the campaign’s success at bringing in small donors, a relative weakness for Romney’s campaign. According to the Obama site, nearly 350,000 people donated to the campaign in February, and nearly 98% of donations were for $250 or less.
But there are signs that the Obama campaign is concerned about holding on to their cash advantage going into the 2012 general election. The President recently reversed his position on SuperPACS, and senior campaign officials have told Democrats in Congress that they should not expect any campaign cash from Obama or the Democratic National Committee this year.
Obama himself has acknowledged that he may have a hard time conjuring up the enthusiasm of his first White House run.
“I know I’m a little grayer now, and it’s not as trendy to be an Obama supporter, because it’s not as fresh,” he said during a campaign fundraiser at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studio Friday. “Those posters are kind of rolled up in a closet somewhere.”
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