An Obama campaign video announcing the March fundraising numbers featured… (YouTube )
President Obama pulled in $53 million in March for his reelection effort, his campaign announced today.
The total marks an uptick in monthly fundraising for the president's reelection bid, which brought in a combined $45 million in February for the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and two related fundraising committees.
In a video released early this morning, the campaign said that 190,000 of the 567,000 total donors for the month -- about a third -- were first-time donors to the campaign. Since the start of the campaign a year ago, the figure is close to 50%, and officials are hoping Mitt Romney's likely clinching of the Republican nomination will serve to reignite donors who had given four years ago but have yet to do so for the 2012 effort.
In a sign the general election has begun in earnest, campaign manager Jim Messina specifically referenced Romney in his appeal to small donors.
"This really is how it works," Messina said. "People building this organization five or ten bucks at a time to take on Mitt Romney."
Neither Romney nor his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have released their March fundraising figures. The final tallies and finance disclosures are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 20.
The Republican National Committee responded that "big money contributions will not take away from the fact that President Obama cannot run on his record."