Obama Beats Romney In August Fundraising, By A Nose

President Obama and the DNC broker a months-long streak by beating Mitt Romney and the RNC in the fundraising race, but only just barely:

BOSTON – For the first time since April, Chicago has outraised Boston, with the Obama campaign and the DNC pulling in more than $114 million in the month of August, while Romney and his supporting Republican committees raised $111.6 million.

Obama’s haul marks the first time the President and DNC—which set records for prolific fundraising in 2008—have topped the $100 million mark this election cycle.  Romney has hit the figure in each of the last three months.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina celebrated the victory in a statement emailed to reporters at 12:23 a.m., just 23 minutes after news of Romney’s August totals were reported.

“The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August,” Messina said.

The release directed reporters to the @BarackObama twitter handle, which was soon sending out additional factoids: more than $1.1 million donated to the President’s campaign; 317,954 donors were giving to Obama for the first time; 97.77 percent of the donations were $250 or less; the average donation was $58.31.

Romney’s August totals were also his largest monthly fundraising haul to date, boosted, in part, with the naming of Paul Ryan to the ticket. On August 12, one day after the official announcement of the Wisconsin congressman as Romney’s running mate, Romney press secretary Andrea Saul said the campaign raised $5 million.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country’s problems – that is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country,” Romney Victory National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a joint statement.

According to a campaign news release announcing Romney’s August total, $34.6 million – about 31 percent – was raised through donations of less than $250. Romney has typically lagged behind Obama in small-dollar donations, but has made up the difference from donors giving the maximum amount that is allowed.

If nothing else, Romney is proving himself quite able at keeping pace with a guy who, four years ago, was leaving Republicans in the dust with his fundraising abilities.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Michael J says:

    It’s no question who Doug will be voting for in November.

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    You have to give Team Obama a lot of credit. They really pulled out all the stops. In August they targeted seniors and college kids even more so than their SOP and based upon that reported data for small donations it’s pretty obvious they succeeded. But green is green and that’s ultimately all that matters.

    Concerning Romney’s fundraising prowess it’s not surprising. He’s a much better general election candidate than a GOP primary candidate and the reality is that outside of various demographic micro cocoons vast swaths of the voting public want a new president. The reasons for that are obvious, although ironically enough those reasons are far from obvious to most of the chattering classes.

  3. Fiona says:

    I suspect Obama’s fundraising numbers will improve with his poll numbers. As it becomes clear that Romney has an increasingly narrow road to victory, outside some kind of major event that turns the race upside down, people will want to bet on the likely winner. Romney’s a pretty dismal standard bearer for the GOP.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been waiting to see if Romney’s fund raising advantage would drop off. Maybe this is the sign that the smart money is deciding to go elsewhere.Of course this is “official” campaign and national commitee money, so who knows what’s going on out of sight.

    Saw Chuck Todd on Morning Joe today. He said the Republican brand is dragging Romney down, and Romney needs to seperate himself from the party. Chuck Todd has never risked saying anything on camera just because it’s true, or insightful. If Chuck Todd is willing to say publicly that the R brand is toxic, “everybody” in DC must be saying it.

    This also answers the question of how Obama will end the gridlock. The Rs aren’t dumb enough to persist in a visibly failed tactic. (He said hopefully.) Also, the point was to deny Obama reelection. After January, the 22nd amendment will take care of that.

  5. Jr says:

    Good for Team Obama, but fundraising itself is quite overblown. Romney has more cash then Obama, but Obama has enough cash to compete with Romney in terms of ads.

    At this point, GOTV and organization is far more important, there are very few swing voters left and most people know who they will vote for.

  6. Stonetools says:

    While this is good news for Obama, Romney can still tap a ton of secret money funneled through unaccountable organizations working for Romney’s election. Citizens United is still poisoning the electoral process. Let’s not forget it.

  7. PJ says:

    @Michael J:

    It’s no question who Doug will be voting for in November.

    He’ll be voting for Gary Johnson (since in reality who one person votes for really doesn’t matter), but I’d guessing he’s hoping that no one else does in Virginia, and he’s not going to spend any time arguing that people should vote for Johnson which includes even mentioning him and his positions at all.

    And maybe that’s all of Johnson’s support in this election? People who doesn’t want Obama to win but refuse to vote for Romney.

  8. PJ says:


    While this is good news for Obama, Romney can still tap a ton of secret money funneled through unaccountable organizations working for Romney’s election. Citizens United is still poisoning the electoral process. Let’s not forget it.

    I’m starting to think that money won’t have so much impact on the Presidential race as I first thought, especially not in an election that doesn’t look to be close at all.
    Republicans suppressing votes will though.

    But I think all the Citizen United money will have an effect on House elections, dropping a huge amount on money late in a lot of districts will change things.
    Hopefully Presidential coattails will alleviate some of it though.

  9. Nikki says:

    @PJ: He could also be voting for Virgjl Goode.