President Obama shattered a fundraising record by collecting more than $86 million.
Obama's reelection campaign announced the numbers in a video posted Wednesday morning on the campaign's website and YouTube channel. The $86 million represents the combined total raised by the Obama Victory Fund for Obama's reelection campaign and the Democratic National Convention. The fund raised over $47 million for the Obama campaign and over $38 million for the Democratic National Convention.
The previous record was set by President George W. Bush in 2003 when he raised more than $60 million for his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee combined. At this same point in 2007, Obama had raised more than $33 million, impressive at the time for a lesser known candidate.
Obama's $47 million for his reelection campaign is far more than the top Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, who raised close to $20 million. It is also more than all the other candidates who have announced their fundraising totals so far combined. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), though, will announce her fundraising totals on Friday. Bachmann is a skilled fundraiser, but did not enter the race until late June, shortly before the second quarter fundraising deadline.
The Obama campaign's announcement also touted the number of contributors and small dollar donations. Ninety-eight percent of contributions were $250 or less, and the average donation was $69, lower than in 2008. The campaign also claimed that no donations came from “Washington lobbyists” or “special interests and PACs.”
The Obama campaign also told Opensecrets.org, a non-profit organization aimed at exposing the influence of money in politics, that it would announce the names of “bundlers” when it files its quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.
“Bundling” is when a fundraiser collects a large number of small donations and donates them together, as a “bundle,” to a campaign. Bundling is legal under campaign finance law but is considered a “loophole” in campaign finance laws that limit the amount of money individuals and PACs can donate to a campaign. Bundling allows organizations and corporations to, in essence, donate a large sum of money with a single voice to a campaign. In campaign finance reports, however, they would appear as a large number of smaller donations.
None of the Republican presidential candidates have announced yet whether or not they will disclose campaign bundlers.