The Obama campaign’s email tonight was pretty self-explanatory:”We got beat.”
Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, blasted it out to supporters after the campaign saw its May fundraising numbers trumped by Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee.
“We knew this moment would come when Romney secured the nomination,” Messina wrote. “What happens next is up to you.”
The Romney campaign said today that, in a joint effort with the RNC, it had raised $76.8 million in May. That compares with just $60 million for the Obama campaign.
For the Obama campaign, which has seen a profound lagging in buzz and monetary support from the 2008 campaign, the dismal numbers offered a new chance to appeal to supporters’ wallets.
The Obama team tried to downplay this during a conference call this afternoon with reporters, the focus of which was geared toward Romney’s new revelations about his blind trust. Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt brushed off the May numbers, saying the campaign had expected it because of the early stages of joint fundraising between Romney and the RNC. LaBolt compared it to the Democrats’ situation in the 2004 presidential race.
“Kerry out-raised Bush two to one in May 2004 shortly after he wrapped up the nomination,” LaBolt said.
True. But combine that with the fact that big donations have largely dried up on the Democratic side and that Republican-affiliated super PAC’s have planned a $1 billion advertising assault this summer and fall, and it’s a recipe for something like what happened in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
In the state’s recall election, Gov. Scott Walker prevailed in resounding fashion. At least part of that was from a more than 7-to-1 spending disparity, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign:
Photo: Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
In Messina’s email plea tonight, he wrote that the Obama campaign “doesn’t have the special-interest and high-dollar donor advantage that Romney has.” He highlighted the fact that Obama’s May haul had come 98 per cent from small donors, compared with just 15.5 per cent for Romney.
But the Obama team’s email was as much of a call to those “high-dollar donors” as it was for its small donors. The New York Times wrote in April:
But Mr. Obama faces a major challenge in the months ahead. To raise as much money for his campaign as he did four years ago, the president would have to raise about $70 million a month through the end of the election cycle, more than triple the rate he has been bringing in cash so far.
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