Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

July fundraising: Obama nearly doubles McCain, DNC outraises RNC

The fundraising figures for the Obama campaign and the DNC are in today, and there is a lot of good news to go around.   Obama raised more than $51 million, while the DNC raised $27.7 million

From the AP

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised more than $51 million in July and the Democratic National Committee reported $27.7 million in donations last month, putting Obama in a strong position for the fall campaign.

Obama’s $51 million, although down a hair from last month when he raised $52 million, still almost doubles the $27 million McCain raised in July (his best ever).  Even though Obama’s figures are slightly down from last month, they are encouraging.  Last month Obama got a significant fundraising bounce from wrapping up the Democratic nomination, and this month he was overseas for a significant portion of the trip, which prevented him from fundraising.  August looks to be a really robust fundraising month for Senator Obama. Both Senator Obama’s birthday earlier this month and the Democratic Convention at the end of the month will provide Senator Obama with a boost in fundraising.  I’m willing to go out on a limb and predict that Senator Obama’s August fundraising figures will break his monthly record of $55 million (February 2008).

The DNC’s fundraising figures are even better news for the Democrats than Obama’s fundraising figures.  Up until now, the DNC has sort of been the black sheep of the Democratic fundraising committees this cycle.  While the Obama campaign, the DSCC, and the DCCC have all significantly outraised their Republican counterparts this election, the DNC has been getting badly beaten by the RNC this cycle.  This looks like it is about to change as the DNC outraised the RNC last month for the first time since October 2004.  Obama’s big donors came through for the party as the DNC raised $27.7 million compared with the RNC’s $26 million.

The Cash on Hand race is starting to look pretty good for the Democrats as well.

Obama began August with $65.8 million on hand and the DNC had $28.5 million available, according to statements released Saturday. His July total was slightly less than the $52 million he raised in June.

The combined Obama/DNC COH figure comes in at $94.3 million, which is just a hair behind the McCain/RNC combined number, which is $96 million.   While that may look like good news for the Republicans on first glance, the Republican number is heavily made up of RNC money ($75 million).  While most in the traditional media have started to count campaign money and party money together, I still believe that money directly raised by a presidential candidate is much more valuable to the presidential race than party money.  While any money donated to a presidential campaign will automatically be used for the presidential race, party money can be used for a host of things, including day to day party activity, Senate races, and House races.  And based on how poorly the Republicans have been doing with fundraising for House and Senate races, the RNC will most likely feel some pressure to spend money in those races as we get closer to the election.

If there is one piece of news in the fundraising figures that is not good news for Obama, it’s that his campaign’s cash on hand for July is lower than its cash on hand for June. Obama started the month with $71.7 million COH, and finished about $6 million lower.  Considering how much he raised in July, this means that he spent an awful lot of money during the month of July.  Some of the increased expense was most likely due to the overseas trip, which I imagine wasn’t cheap, but overall it reflects the large cost of running the type of ground game the Obama campaign has been building. While this is not necessarily a bad thing (a good ground game will help Obama outperform the polls in most states), it means that the Obama campaign will have to keep raising an ever increasing amount of funds to be able to keep the ground operation operational if he wants to be able to beat McCain in the advertising war.

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August 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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