Obama and 2012: The first billion dollar campaign?

It's more than a possibility. Obama spent $750 million to get elected in 2010 and an incumbent president has even more opportunity to rake in the cash.

Chris Cilliza on the reasons Obama might raise that almost unthinkable amount:

First, he collected $750 million while running as a senator. He'll now be running as a president, which should allow him to clean up financially to an even greater extent, thanks to the power of incumbency.Second, the continued development and maturation of Internet fundraising over the past four years means that the $500 million - yes, you read that right - that Obama raised online in 2008 could well be topped in 2012, noted Ben Ginsberg, a top Republican lawyer who served as an adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid.

Third, the growth of a shadow Republican Party of outside groups - epitomized by American Crossroads, which spent $70 million on the 2010 midterms - should help fuel Democratic donations to Obama. (It remains unclear whether a Democratic-aligned outside group - or groups - will form to siphon off some of those donations.)

While the pieces are clearly in place for Obama to crest the $1 billion fundraising mark in 2012, some skepticism remains - even among his supporters - about the president's ability to reach that lofty mark.

That skepticism may be well founded. Certainly the small donations that sustained the campaign through much of the primaries will probably be down as many of the young have lost faith in The One. But that may be offset by many more "bundlers" who will seek to curry favor with the incumbent.

One thing is nearly certain; Obama is not going to raise less than the amount he gathered in 2008. That should put the GOP on notice that they must do a much better job or, as in the campaign against John McCain, Obama will leave Republicans in the dust with his fundraising.



It's more than a possibility. Obama spent $750 million to get elected in 2010 and an incumbent president has even more opportunity to rake in the cash.

Chris Cilliza on the reasons Obama might raise that almost unthinkable amount:

First, he collected $750 million while running as a senator. He'll now be running as a president, which should allow him to clean up financially to an even greater extent, thanks to the power of incumbency.

Second, the continued development and maturation of Internet fundraising over the past four years means that the $500 million - yes, you read that right - that Obama raised online in 2008 could well be topped in 2012, noted Ben Ginsberg, a top Republican lawyer who served as an adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid.

Third, the growth of a shadow Republican Party of outside groups - epitomized by American Crossroads, which spent $70 million on the 2010 midterms - should help fuel Democratic donations to Obama. (It remains unclear whether a Democratic-aligned outside group - or groups - will form to siphon off some of those donations.)

While the pieces are clearly in place for Obama to crest the $1 billion fundraising mark in 2012, some skepticism remains - even among his supporters - about the president's ability to reach that lofty mark.

That skepticism may be well founded. Certainly the small donations that sustained the campaign through much of the primaries will probably be down as many of the young have lost faith in The One. But that may be offset by many more "bundlers" who will seek to curry favor with the incumbent.

One thing is nearly certain; Obama is not going to raise less than the amount he gathered in 2008. That should put the GOP on notice that they must do a much better job or, as in the campaign against John McCain, Obama will leave Republicans in the dust with his fundraising.



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