President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic Party have set a combined fundraising goal of $60 million for the final three months of 2011, an amount that would help them surpass $200 million for 2011.
Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee have collected $156 million through the end of September and would easily push past $200 million if the goal is met. The campaign and DNC raised about $70 million from July through late September.
The campaign and DNC have not yet met the fundraising goals but the president is not expected to participate in any fundraising events for the remainder of the year, a campaign official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to speak publicly.
Obama told top fundraisers recently that his re-election is not a "slam dunk" because many people are grappling with unemployment and the aftermath of the housing meltdown. He said his campaign would put forth a "vision that is truest to our history and most representative of the core decency of the American people."
Campaign officials expect the eventual Republican nominee to be competitive with Obama on fundraising, given the role of super PACs, independent groups that may accept unlimited donations but are not supposed to directly coordinate with candidates. Leading Republican contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have not yet outlined fundraising goals for the quarter.
Obama headlined 15 campaign fundraising events in October through December, about half the number of events he participated in during the first three months of his re-election campaign. The campaign has offered a "Dinner with Barack and Michelle" to boost campaign contributions online, allowing donors the chance to enter a drawing to have dinner with the first couple. The move followed a "Dinner with Barack" promotion earlier in the year.
Obama departed Washington on Friday to begin a delayed vacation in Hawaii.