Campaign Trail

A look at the Obama campaign’s money strategy

John Dimsdale Apr 16, 2012

David Brancaccio: There’s word this morning that President Obama raised $53 million in March. But campaign fundraising could get tougher for the President, as Marketplace’s John Dimsdale reports.

John Dimsdale: Obama has a big head start in campaign donations. He’s raised twice as much as Romney, mostly from smaller donors. But the president is still getting swamped in big-money fundraising.   

Anna Greenberg: On the Democratic side, you don’t really have these rich individuals like the Koch brothers for example, who give at the level the Koch Brothers give.

That’s Anna Greenberg, a Democratic campaign strategist. The Koch Brothers, their company and employees have given $1.5 million to conservative campaigns and super PACs so far this election. Greenberg says in the last campaign, candidate Obama discouraged supporters from donating to outside Democratic allies.    

Greenberg: The Obama campaign has clearly signaled this time around that they want progressive and Democratic donors to give to super PACs and outside efforts, which is sort of a reversal from 2008. Because they can’t compete with the super PACs.

Even with the disadvantages, Obama expects his smaller donors to match the Romney campaign dollar-for-dollar, each spending around $750 million on the race for president.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.