» Three months straight: With his July fundraising, Mitt Romney finished an entire quarter with a higher donation total than President Obama. Considering his continued ability to out-raise Obama, is it any wonder that the two remain virtually neck-and-neck in pre-election polling?
» Not much bang for the buck: Tons of money is needed to get a political campaign off the ground, but that doesn’t mean being rich out of the gate is a sure-fire win for wannabe politicians. In 2010, wrestling magnate Linda McMahon spent $50 million on her own Senate campaign only to be crushed by Richard Blumenthal, who’d raised a (relatively) modest $8.7 million. More recently, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost the GOP primary after giving $24 million to his own war chest—the most so far of any candidate this cycle. But this doesn’t seem to be discouraging wealthy candidates: McMahon is running for the Senate again this year, and her $8.8 million contribution constitutes 90% of what she’s raised so far.
» To put this in perspective, here’s what the fundraising situation was like in March. Regarding Obama’s fundraising total, his Chief Operating Officer, Ann Marie Habershaw put it like this: ”Bravo. That’s seriously impressive. Bad news? We still got beat. Handily.” This result could be a sign that Romney’s fundraising, which looked like it would struggle this year, may top Obama’s when everything is said and done.
» The spike in donations has put the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on track for a historically-high month, only a few weeks removed from a record-breaking $5.6 million in donations during May. The donation numbers also add legitimacy to Democratic claims that the ruling galvanized the left every bit as much as it galvanized the right. Though, even when combined with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s similarly high $2.3 million in donations, the numbers seem small compared to the more than $5.5 million raised by Mitt Romney in the first 24-hours after the decision.
That’s approximately seven times what his primary competitors raised during the same period…combined. Tom Barrett, Democratic mayor of Milkwaukee, reported that his campaign has raised $831,508 since he announced his candidacy on March 30. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk’s campaign reported that she has raised $977,059 since joining the race on January 17. Outside analysts expect upwards of $60 million to be spent on the Wisconsin recall in total. source
» But at least Romney has Super PAC backing: While Obama more than doubled Romney’s fundraising total in March — $35 million to $12.6 million — Romney’s stayed competitive with the help of the Super PAC supporting him, Restore Our Future. Other Super PACs are helping too — the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, which is expected to ratchet up the Obama attack ads, raised $31.2 million in March — and the RNC’s fundraising is back on track after a fairly rough stretch under Michael Steele. One thing Romney hasn’t done this time around is put his own money into the campaign, like he did in 2008 when he threw $40 million in the pot. Think Mitt can prove formidable despite the cash deficit?
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» Joseph P. Kennedy III , the Massachusetts Democrats’ challenger to take over Barney Frank’s soon-to-be-empty seat in the House, raised this impressive amount as a first-time contender within the first three months of the year. His GOP challenger, Sean Bielat, raised just over a tenth of that in the same period. Bielat gave Frank a tough challenge in the 2010 race.
» Romney’s heating up the fundraising, too: With the primary campaign largely over, Mitt Romney is now working together with the Republican National Committee on fundraising, and they’re starting to pick up steam — the RNC, which has had some fundraising scandals in recent years, raised $13.7 million in March, while Mitt has $72 million in cash as of the end of February. The Mittster is expected to announce his March totals later this week. As you might’ve heard, Mitt’s a tad bullish towards big-ticket donors these days.
» That’s from 3,293 individuals who presumably would like to see Ron Barber replace his former boss, retired U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, during an upcoming special election. Barber — who was shot twice in the attack that lead to Giffords’ resignation — says his primary goal is to win the special election and finish Giffords’ term, but he also says he’ll run for re-election if he wins this time. Barber is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket and does not have an official challenger, but four conservatives are competing in the Republican primary. None of the four have released financial figures at this time.
» Not quite as much as 2008, though: Four years ago, Obama’s donation prowess was a little stronger: He raised $56 million in February 2008. This decline is to be expected, however, due to “donor fatigue” and the slow economy.