By Eric Johnson
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Democratic National Committee raised about $5.5 million in August, its worst fundraising month of the year, down from $6.7 million in July, according to figures provided by Democratic officials on Saturday and Federal Election Commission filings.
The low fundraising figure for August was confirmed by a senior Democratic official, who said it would not be officially disclosed until September 20.
Both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and President Barack Obama's re-election campaign were forced to curtail fundraising during the summer because of the negotiations with congressional Republicans over raising the debt limit, which led Obama to cancel fundraisers around the country.
The summer before an election year also is traditionally a relatively slow time for fundraising.
Obama, with slumping job approval ratings amid ongoing economic worries, is seeking re-election in November 2012.
For the year 2011 to date, the DNC and Obama's campaign have raised roughly $118 million, according to a presentation Saturday from DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobais and DNC National Finance Director Jane Stetson. The finance officials disclosed the figure to a meeting of the DNC.
The $118 million includes $20.6 million raised by the DNC in the first quarter of the year, $86 million raised by the DNC and the Obama campaign in the second quarter, $6.7 million raised by the DNC in July, and roughly $5.5 million in August, a Democratic official said. The official said the numbers are preliminary and may change when formally reported.
The figure does not include most of the funds raised by Obama's campaign in the third quarter, which will end on September 30, according to Democratic finance officials.
Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led her first full committee meeting, said the party needs to rally behind Obama's $447 billion jobs plan aimed at jump-starting the economy and hiring, as well as his own re-election prospects.
"There is only one job the Republicans care about ... Barack Obama's," Wasserman Schultz said at the meeting for the committee's top brass in Chicago Saturday.
(Reporting by Eric Johnson and Kim Dixon; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Greg McCune)