Amid a fractured economy and fickled job market, President Obama outpaced fundraising projections to raise $86 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic Party over the last three months.
Between April 1 and June 30, Obama garnered more than $47 million for his Obama for America campaign and an additional $38 million for the Democratic National Committee, which will assist with advertising efforts and voter engagement.
His campaign team had expected to raise just $60 million.
“This should end any Washington chatter about whether our grassroots base will be engaged,” Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said, according to USA Today. “Our people are back and energized, and there’s a new generation of supporters who have joined our organization.”
More than 550,000 supporters donated to Obama’s campaign during the second quarter, a hefty increase from the 180,000 who contributed during the same time period in 2007. The president brought in a total of $750 million over the course of his 2008 presidential campaign.
The figures, released July 13, show the president is still a strong opponent for Republicans who plan to challenge him in 2012. Collectively, Republican candidates raised $35 million.
But political analysts say the sluggish economy remains embedded in the minds of most Americans.
“He can claim…having been president during the end of the Great Recession, but the challenge to the Obama campaign is how to convince voters that he’s responsible for making things better,” Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin, told USA Today. “It’s a hard argument to say, ‘I kept it from being a lot worse.’”
Of his Republican challengers, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney generated the most donations, with $18 million. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Utah Gov. John Huntsman followed with $4.2 million and $4.1 million, respectively. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has not yet reported her fundraising totals for the quarter.