WASHINGTON--The Obama team raised $70.1 million in the last quarter--$42.8 million for the Obama 2012 campaign and $27.3 million for the Democratic National Committee, likely more than all the GOP candidates combined.
The third quarter numbers, covering July, August and September, were released early Thursday by campaign manager Jim Messina in an e-mail to supporters.
The haul did not match the more than $86 million the team raised in the second quarter, over $47 for Obama 2012 campaign and more than $38 million for the DNC in April, May and June.
A reason the third quarter totals did not match the past quarter is that President Obama and Vice President Biden--the top fundraisers for Democrats--were sidelined off the fund-raising trail this summer to stay in Washington to deal with the tussle with Congress over raising the debt ceiling. Almost every fund-raising day Obama or Biden are on the trail means at least $1 million for 2012 re-election war chest.
Messina said the take was more than their self-imposed $55 million goal and the cash was collected "during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do -- a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper."
The Messina e-mail did not mention the role of the mega donors--always a sensitive topic and focused on the small dollar giver.
"In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign -- even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter," Messina wrote. "Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations -- 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That's more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign."
The third quarter fund-raising drive for the Obama re-election bid--headquartered in Chicago-- was more than just a hunt for campaign cash. The Obama team also uses fund-raising as an organizing tool, for both small donors and the bundlers--an elite group of people who have pledged to use their networks to raise mega-donations.
GOP White House hopeful Rick Perry campaign has said the Texas governor collected at least $17 million, just jumping into the race this quarter. Rival Mitt Romney is expected to report more than $10 million.