President Obama's campaign raises $181 million in September
The haul pushes the total raised for President Obama's campaign this cycle to $947 million, making it a near certainty he'll surpass $1 billion raised for his campaign.
Tribune Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — Spurred on by the Democratic National Convention, new donate-by-text capability and an expanding lead in state and national polls, President Obama raised $181 million for his re-election effort in September, his campaign announced Saturday.
The immense haul pushes the total raised for the incumbent's campaign this cycle to $947 million, making it a near certainty he'll surpass $1 billion raised for his campaign, the Democratic National Committee and other affiliated campaigns.
The announcement came a day before the president is set to travel to Los Angeles for three fundraisers, including one with President Clinton and a concert featuring Stevie Wonder and other performers.
Bolstered by the Democratic National Convention, Obama and his party Saturday reported a combined take of $181 million for September, their best fundraising month of the campaign and just short of their record of $190 million in the 2008 campaign, also in September. Romney's campaign has not released its report for the month yet.
It was oddly quiet Saturday, one month away from the election. Obama took time off for a 20th anniversary celebration with his wife, Michelle, postponed from the day of the first presidential debate last week, while Republican nominee Mitt Romney devoted time to preparing for the next debate, Oct. 16 in Hempstead, N.Y., before a Saturday evening rally in Apopka, Fla.
But the money machine was grinding relentlessly. Republican running mate Paul Ryan scheduled an evening fundraiser in Milwaukee, Wis., and neither party let up in their appeals for cash for the frantic final weeks ahead. Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden go head-to-head in a debate Thursday in Danville, Ky.
An email to Obama supporters from campaign manager Jim Messina said 1.8 million people donated an average of $53 each in September, including 567,000 people giving for the first time.
Since Obama launched his re-election campaign in April 2011, 3,922,420 people have donated to the campaign, he said.
"What gives the president confidence and inspiration is knowing that you have his back — that matters. We're all going to do the best we can over the next 31 days to honor that support," Messina wrote.
The Romney campaign has not announced its September fundraising numbers. The Republican nominee had raised $669 million through August between his campaign, the Republican National Committee and a joint fundraising committee.
Obama did not announce how much cash his campaign had on hand going into October, and his campaign does not have to file detailed disclosures with the Federal Election Commission until later this month. But he is likely to show strong donations from small donors compared with Romney, a difference that gave Obama a critical advantage in cash flow over Romney in August, when the Republican candidate borrowed $20 million to get through the summer.
While Obama has raised more than half of his total cash on donations of less than $200, Romney has relied far more on donors giving large checks to him and his party. Without a large stream of grass-roots money, Romney has had to spend more time fundraising in recent months than his campaign would like, leaving less time to meet voters in swing states.
Material from The New York Times and The Associated Press is included in this report.