President Barack Obama's key fundraisers are being asked to raise $60 million for the president's re-election campaign and the Democratic Party by the end of June.
Two people familiar with the fundraising goal said it was part of a presentation in Chicago on Wednesday to top Democratic fundraisers. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private meeting publicly.
Obama raised $750 million in 2008 and his advisers have privately told donors that they hope to match the amount or exceed it. Some estimates say the 2012 re-election campaign could pull in $1 billion.
A major donor involved in the re-election campaign's fundraising said most of the $60 million had already been raised. The donor spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly.
Obama is expected to headline fundraisers in Miami, Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia before the end of the fundraising quarter on June 30, people familiar with the events said. First lady Michele Obama is expected to hold fundraisers in California in June, they said.
Obama launched his re-election campaign in April and has headlined several fundraisers around the country, with some of the proceeds divided between the Democratic National Committee and his re-election campaign.
In April, the DNC collected $12.4 million, with about $7 million going to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama's campaign. At Victory Fund events, the first $5,000 on a donor's contribution goes to the presidential campaign and the remainder goes to the DNC, up to a maximum of $30,800 a year.
The campaign is also focusing on low-dollar fundraising. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters Wednesday that the campaign's "most committed supporters" would match contributions by first-time donors of $5 or more. He said the small donations would be "an explicit rejection of the money-for-influence game that paralyzes our politics."
Associated Press writer Beth Fouhy in New York contributed to this report.
Ken Thomas can be reached at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas