Photo: The White House
As second quarter fundraising reports start to trickle in, the Obama campaign is already warning that it may have lost its edge in the campaign money wars.Publicly, the campaign has tried to turn its fundraising disadvantage into a political opportunity, raising the reliable specters of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers to scare liberal donors into forking over more cash. On Friday, the President, basking in the glow of his Obamacare win, called some of his top 2008 donors from Air Force One to beg for more money.
“I’m asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008,” Obama said, according to the Daily Beast. “Because we’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently. Because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”
But even beyond the scare tactics, Democratic strategists and money men privately told Business Insider that they are increasingly concerned about whether their candidate can compete with outside conservative groups, who are expected to raise a combined $1 billion in their push to take back the White House.
In interviews with Business Insider, several Democratic fundraisers outlined several obstacles hampering the Obama’s money-making efforts.
First, Democrats have had difficulty reigniting 2008 enthusiasm among many supporters, forcing the campaign’s finance team to spend resources finding and cultivating untapped donors.
More problematically, Democrats have struggled to convince donors that Mitt Romney is a real threat, especially after this year’s Republican primary circus. According to one Obama fundraiser, this problem has been compounded by the campaign’s initial chest-thumping over its grassroots fundraising machine, which lulled big-money donors into a state of complacency that has been hard to shake.
Still, doomsday warnings about Obama’s money problems are probably exaggerated. Democratic insiders concede that the fundraising race remains tight, and will likely stay that way through the general election. But without a liberal Sheldon Adelson to turn to, the Obama campaign can ill afford to fall behind.
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