President Obama's campaign will report raising a staggering $47 million in the past three months, his campaign manager said in a web video released early Wednesday morning.
That amount dwarfs the money raised in the last three months by the entire Republican field, underscoring just how great an advantage the incumbent will have over the eventual GOP nominee. Obama's haul is well over twice as much as the $18 million the leading Republican, Mitt Romney, managed to pull in.
But, campaign manager Jim Messina warned, while Obama's early success looks like he can swamp the Republican field, another shadowy player waits. Recent court decisions have allowed vast amounts of money to flow into politics, and outside organizations stand ready to spend millions on behalf of whomever the Republican nominee may be.
"GOP outside spending for 2012 could be as much as $500 million, but these groups don't report anything. We're not allowed to see any of those numbers," Messina said. "This is a whole new ballgame, like we've never faced before."
In the video emailed to supporters, Messina said Obama for America will report the contributions came from more than 552,000 donors. Those contributors gave an average of just $69 -- a far lower number than the 2008 campaign and an indication that the fundraising well is deep. Overall, 98 percent of contributions to the campaign were below the $250 threshold.
The Democratic National Committee will report having raised an additional $38 million in the last three months. The two committees may raise money jointly through the Obama Victory Fund, an entity that allows donors to write checks for up to $35,800. That money is divided, with the first $5,000 of any contribution going to Obama's campaign and the rest going to the DNC (The DNC must report their fundraising totals every month, meaning the committee will report raising about $14 million in June when they file their own reports).
Obama's campaign has already opened 60 field offices around the country, Messina said, and the campaign has conducted almost 650 initial organizing sessions in every state that will matter in the 2012 campaign. The campaign will flex its organizing muscle this Saturday, Messina said, with their latest day of organizing.