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September 15, 2008
RNC killing the DNC in fundraising
The Republican National Committee has nearly 6 times the amount of money on hand at the end of August as their Democratic party counterparts:
DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney says the party raised more than $17 million and has $17.5 million on hand, having spent more than $28 million last month, largely on the Democrats' ground game. Obama, meanwhile, still needs more cash. And more...and more...
That cash figure is a fraction of the $110 million a Republican official says it has, which includes transfers of money McCain is no longer allowed to spend and money from state fundraising vehicles.
The disparity shows the Republicans' continued edge with the wealthy donors who can give in five-figure chunks. The RNC money cannot be spent on advertising directly for McCain. But the candidate really doesn't need it for that.
Where the RNC money will make a difference is on the ground, setting up offices and running a massive volunteer effort that they hope can match the Bush-Cheney campaign's 3 million participants.
Barack Obama's $66 million haul in August donations may set records but it's only a down payment on the huge sums the Democratic presidential nominee must continue to collect in order to compete through the Nov. 4 election.
Obama is attempting to become the first candidate to privately finance the general election phase of his campaign, and his August performance seems to be a good start. His announcement that he had $77 million in cash in the bank at the end of August came strikingly close to the roughly $85 million in taxpayer funds that Republican John McCain has to spend on the entire general election.
But the August sum came after a full-court press by the campaign and in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, historically an easier time to generate donations because the party base is focused and united.
The campaign announced that it had recruited 500,000 new donors in August, which brings the number of total contributors to 2.5 million.
As Jennifer Rubin points out, Obama must also spend precious hours away from campaigning in order to hit donors up for cash.
Will the well ever dry up? That must be a nagging question at the back of Obama's mind as the campaign heads into these crucial last weeks.