Reporting from Washington — President Obama's next major fundraising filing will show a dramatic increase in the number of small donors so far this year compared with 2008, his campaign said Saturday.
"We had 180,000 contributors at this point in the last campaign; now it's well over 300,000," said spokesman Ben LaBolt in an email previewing the upcoming filing. LaBolt declined to elaborate except to say in his note that the filing will show "small dollar contributors back in greater numbers."
His email came a day after the Los Angeles Times/Tribune reported that the campaign had ramped up its efforts to lure large donors, including a new program called Presidential Partners that asks wealthy individuals to commit to giving $75,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint project of the campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Obama set a high bar in 2008, raising nearly $750 million. Back then, the campaign boasted of the number of small donors who were participating.
The public won't have a good sense of the fundraising by Obama or other presidential candidates until after the campaigns file their reports with the Federal Election Commission. Those documents are not released publicly until mid-July, but campaigns doing well tend to leak their numbers early.
In advance of the end-of-the-month deadline for the upcoming report, all of the campaigns are hustling. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina sent an email to supporters Saturday saying, "A lot of people out there are wondering whether this campaign can inspire the kind of grass-roots support that has been the foundation of our success. A lot of people out there are already saying we can't. So we've got something to prove."
His email says the campaign hopes to have 450,000 donors by June 30.