President Barack Obama raked in $70.1 million in the third quarter, beating the campaign’s previous goal of $55 million and giving the president a much-needed leg up over his 2012 Republican opponents.
But the total is still about 20% less than Obama’s second-quarter haul — an indication that Obama’s falling poll numbers and the weak economy have taken a toll on Obama’s donor base. Campaign staffers deny this is the case and instead attribute the drop to the canceled fundraising events during the summer budget negotiations.
In an email to Obama supporters, campaign manager Jim Messina noted that more than 600,000 people donated to the campaign last quarter, and 98% of those donors gave $250 or less. The total number of Obama donors for the last six months is now just shy of 1 million.
“The grassroots support is the campaign’s “answer to our opponents, the press, and anyone who wants to know whether the President’s supporters have his back,” Messina wrote.
The fundraising haul — which will be split between his re-election ($42.8 million ) and the DNC ($27.3 million) — is significantly more than either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, the top two fundraisers in the Republican presidential field. Romney leads the field after taking in $18 million in his first three months, but that number is expected to drop for the most recent quarter. Perry’s campaign announced last week that the campaign took in $17 million in its first seven weeks.
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