Obama's vanishing money advantage

We have heard quite a lot over the past year about Barack Obama's fundraising prowess. But the good times may be over.

Now it suddenly appears that John McCain and his campaign are no slouches in this area. The announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate has changed things.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the state of the money race:

...it appears Sen. Obama's money advantage is far smaller than it was assumed to be early on. [....]

Fund-raising reports through July show that the DNC and Sen. Obama have raised about $150 million but spent much of it already; going into August, the campaign reported having $68.5 million on hand. The reports also showed that in July, the campaign was spending at a rate that was faster than donations were coming in.

The Obama campaign declined to comment on its fund raising or spending in August. One major donor said it is likely the campaign has only a small cash cushion at the moment.

The Obama campaign's best reported fund-raising month was in February when it raised $55 million; to meet the goal, it will have to do far better in August and September. [....]

Big fund-raisers are becoming increasingly important to the Obama campaign, which has long touted its broad stable of small donors. Sen. Obama is devoting much more time to big-donor fund raising than he used to. In early August, the Obama campaign added a class of $500,000 fund-raisers -- a doubling of the old top level. Sen. Obama has about 40 of these fund-raisers, compared with about 60 for Sen. McCain

So Obama is running a campaign that is spending too much money and failing to deliver the promised benefits? Kind of like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge or the Democrats' social programs. Is anyone surprised?
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