President Obama's reelection campaign raised $86 million in the three months that ended June 30, marking the first quarter of his 2012 effort.
Obama's campaign has been raising money jointly through its official campaign arm, Obama for America, which raised more than $47 million, and the Democratic National Committee, which collected more than $38 million.
The campaign said that 552,462 people donated to Obama's reelection campaign, with 98% of the donations at $250 or less, far greater than the campaign's donor pool at this point in 2007. The average contribution was $69. In the last cycle, Obama's amassing of a pool of small-dollar donors was considered a distinct cash-flow advantage over his rivals, as it allowed the campaign to draw on them for additional support as the election neared.
While the campaign's fund-raising puts it well ahead of Republican rivals, in a video to supporters this morning, campaign manager Jim Messina warned that Republicans would pose a big challenge because of expected spending by outside groups like Crossroads, an organization that includes Karl Rove and is already running ads critical of the president and the economy.
"The threat to our success from these determined groups — acting solely in their own interest, not the public interest — is real, and it's growing," Messina said. "And it's going to take serious commitment and vigilance from all of us to withstand their attacks while still building the grassroots campaign we'll need to win."
Obama held a series of fund-raising kickoff events at Sony Pictures Entertainment and a Brentwood eatery in April, and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, headlined a series of Los Angeles events last month.
Although the campaign has been critical of the GOP's expected reliance on outside groups, two former Obama aides have launched their own organizations that are raising six- and seven- figure sums from Democratic donors. Priorities USA, formed by Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, has the support of Jeffrey Katzenberg and his political adviser, Andy Spahn, who have been helping in the fund-raising.