MSNBC – Bush re-election effort raised $131 million in 2003

As he seeks a second term in the White House, President Bush’s re-election effort raised a record-breaking $130.8 million last year, campaign manager Ken Mehlman announced Wednesday.

The Bush campaign has amassed nearly $100 million in cash on hand for use in the primary season, even though Bush faces no primary opponent.

Bush will be able to use the money to run ads criticizing the Democratic nominee once the Democratic nomination is clinched, in all likelihood no later than mid-March.

Or, for that matter, he could spend it explaining why he has done a good job and should be retained. And, unless there’s some facet of election law applicable here with which I’m not familiar–a distinct possibility, to be sure–he could do that now.

Mehlman touted the campaign’s extensive reach with 494,000 individual donors, more than a 40 percent increase over the total number of individual donors it had in the 1999-2000 campaign.

“We are making history today in the number of grass-roots donors the campaign has received, for the scope and breadth of those donors, and the amount raised,” Mehlman told reporters.

Democratic front-runner Howard Dean’s campaign has said it has more than 250,000 individual donors.

Mehlman said that 415,000 of the 494,000 Bush donors, or 84 percent, chipped in less than $200 each.

The average contribution to the Bush campaign was $211. The maximum amount an individual is permitted to give is $2,000 per candidate per election.

Almost of 400,000 of the contributors to the Bush re-election effort are new donors, having not contributed to his campaign in 2000.

These numbers are quite impressive–especially Howard Dean’s, given the plethora of candidates and the fact that I had never heard of Dean until he announced his candidacy. (Yes, I had heard of President Bush.)

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:

    Being in on the W04 grassroots, and having worked for other campaigns, I can say that I have never seen the level of mobilization that the GOP is engaging in now. It is quite impressive from my vantage point.

  2. Uzumlu Biskuvi says:

    Wow! The “too little time” guy seems to be really uptight about a lot of things. I bet he’s voting for Dean.

    …and if you are not allowed to buy an election, I would guess that it would be okay to rent it (with all applicable late fees enforced).

    I wonder if this guy is worried about John Kerry upping his debt load by taking out a second mortgage on his mansion to fund his “effing” campaign?