Campaign Trail

The first $1 billion presidential candidate?

John Dimsdale Jan 12, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: The Obama re-election campaign said this morning the campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised $68 million in the last three months of 2011. That’s more than twice as much as the Republican front-runner Mitt Romney raised in the same period. We talked yesterday about the role of big donors and super PACs in funding the Republican campaigns. So what about President Obama’s campaign?

Here’s our Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale.

John Dimsdale: The president’s campaign aides deny it, but some say he’ll raise a billion dollars this year.  His fundraising is ahead of the 2008 election when he attracted $750 million in donations. Democrats want to stay on par with Republicans, who’ve divided up their fundraising so far, as they settle on a nominee.

But GOP campaign strategist Patrick Griffin says a significant source of Democratic support this year is uneasy about the levels of campaign cash. 

Patrick Griffin: This is the one thing that adds gas to the fire for the Occupy Wall Street movement. This is exactly what they’re all about: big money sort of controlling the government and controlling the political process. 

But the Obama campaign says 98 percent of their donations at the end of last year were for $250 or less — with the average at $55. Plus, they point out, contributions to Republican super PACs far outweighed donations to Democratic-leaning independent political action committees.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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