Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee revved up their money machine in June, outpacing their Republican rivals by almost $25 million, the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign said Thursday.
Obama and the party have also all but caught up to Republican standard-bearer John McCain and the Republican National Committee in the amount they have available to spend.
McCain and the RNC had about $95 million in the bank at the end of June, while Obama and the DNC had about $92 million.
Reports that detail the numbers are scheduled to be released Sunday, when the campaigns must file their monthly disclosures with the Federal Election Commission.
In a preview of the full report, Obama disclosed Thursday that his fundraising increased to $52 million in June, after a down month in May when he raised $22 million. Obama nearly matched his all-time high of $55 million, which he raised in February.
By contrast, McCain raised $22 million in June, an uptick from the $21.2 million he raised in May, his campaign had reported earlier.
The June report suggests Obama and his party will be able to raise the hundreds of millions that they plan to spend on the general election campaign.
“The sky is the limit,” said political scientist Bruce Cain, head of the University of California Washington Center. “Whatever the other guy raises, you want to raise more. It’s an arms race. It will be a record amount.”
Since clinching the nomination, Obama has shifted his focus to emphasize views that appeal to centrist independent voters, raising speculation that he risked losing his all-important small-donor base.
But according to his campaign, Obama’s average donation in June was $68. The modest amount suggests Obama’s small-donor base remains enthusiastic, Cain said, adding: “That makes it an even more positive signal.”
As you might imagine, Barack Obama is a frequent conversation topic here; his campaign is a fairly pervasive presence as well. There was definitely some muttering about how in particular his change on FISA might hurt his fundraising. Guess that’s not the case, though perhaps next month will tell yet another story. In any event, they’re clearly on track, and it’s good to see.