President Obama speaks at a campaign fundraiser in St. Louis on Oct. 4. (Susan Walsh / Associated…)
President Obama raised more than $70 million this summer for his reelection effort, his campaign announced Thursday morning.
That total is short of the initial $86 million Obama raised for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee earlier this year, but one that nonetheless will likely dwarf the combined efforts of his potential Republican foes.
In an email to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said that Obama for America and the DNC raised the $70 million from more than 606,000 donors -- more than the previous quarter -- and that 98% of the 766,000 total gifts were in amounts of $250 or less.
Messina also noted that the tally came "during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do -- a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper."
Obama was forced to hold off fundraising as he worked with Congress on a deal to raise the debt ceiling. He tried to pick up the pace in September, holding seven fundraisers in two days on a recent West Coast swing, in addition to events in New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.
"If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: You came through," Messina wrote.
Messina then goaded recipients of the email to give even more -- perhaps $35 or more as the campaign nears a milestone of 1 million total donors. More than 983,000 had given through early Thursday.
The campaign has not yet released full details of its third-quarter filing to the Federal Election Commission, which would include how much money is in the bank. A campaign spokesperson said that of the $70 million, $27.3 million was raised by the DNC and $42.8 million went to Obama for America.
Obama's campaign had set what Messina called an "ambitious" goal of $55 million for the period. At a similar point in his reelection effort, George W. Bush raised a record $50.1 million for his campaign.
Candidates have until Oct. 15 to submit their FEC fundraising reports, which would cover a period from July 1 to Sept. 30. The campaigns have been lowering expectations ahead of the filing period, and few have released their totals yet.
Rick Perry, the Texas governor, said he raised $17 million in his initial two months as a candidate. Advisors to Mitt Romney say he'll likely report raising more than $14 million.
The Republican National Committee said Wednesday that it had raised $9.3 million in September alone, and had $11.4 million cash on hand.