Two-thirds of Obama campaign cash from small donors

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 7:38 PM
Two-thirds of Obama campaign cash from small donors

By Eric Johnson and Kim Dixon

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of the $86 million raised by President Barack Obama for his re-election effort in recent months came from small donations of under $200 or less, according to filings released on Friday.

Obama released top-line data on his campaign from April to June earlier this week which showed him breaking a prior fundraising record by former president George W. Bush. Obama's campaign raised $47 million on its own and another $39 million was generated by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The data underscored the campaign's promise of targeting small-dollar donations instead of powerful political action committees, as the Democratic incumbent seeks re-election in 2012.

More than 65 percent of the funds raised by the Democratic incumbent's campaign, Obama for America, were from donations of $200 or less, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. On average, 61 percent of contributions made to the DNC were less than $200.

Obama's incumbency has allowed him to raise more than his Republican rivals, who have to battle each other while seeking their party's presidential nomination and who lack a national committee.

The Republican front-runner Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million in the second quarter, with just $1 million, or less than one percent, coming from donations of $200 or less, according to campaign filings.

The fast-rising Michele Bachmann, a Republican Representative from Minnesota, raised $4.2 million in the second quarter, including a $2 million transfer from her House committee, her campaign said on Friday.


Obama's campaign also on Friday disclosed a list of so-called bundlers, 244 wealthy people who commit to raise a certain amount of money, for example $100,000 or more, for the campaign.

None of the major Republican candidates choose to release such detailed lists.

Among Obama's bundlers are hedge fund manager Orin Kramer, and Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour.

Romney, meanwhile, did not disclose a detailed list but he did spell out those federal lobbyists who raised money for him, which is required by law. Romney said lobbyists raised about $518,000 of his $18.25 million second quarter haul.

The Obama campaign has said it will not take money from lobbyists.

"President Bush disclosed his bundlers, but the current GOP field has not followed suit, raising questions about the extent to which special interests are funding their campaigns," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that all of Romney's donations have been disclosed, albeit in reams of documents filed with the FEC on Friday.

(Editing by Paul Simao)