The Corner

Donor Troubles?

The Obama campaign has been breaking every fundraising record this year with extremely impressive figures month after month, but the New York Times today suggests that they are nonetheless well below the levels they estimated they would need (and would raise) when they made the decision to give up public financing:

When Mr. Obama decided in June to bypass the $84 million in public financing for the general election, campaign officials calculated that to make it worth the additional time he would need to devote off the campaign trail to fund-raising, they needed to raise two to three times the $84 million.

They set out a goal of raising $300 million for the campaign and $180 million for the Democratic Party, several fund-raisers said, or about $100 million a month.

The targets hewed closely with what Obama advisers also cited in interviews as their anticipated budget for the general election, but a spokesman for the campaign insisted on Tuesday that its fund-raising was on target and denied that $100 million a month was ever a real goal, or that the campaign was having problems recruiting Clinton donors.

In July, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee took in about $77 million. That swamped the $53 million Mr. McCain and the Republican National Committee collected. But it was for a second straight month significantly off the pace Obama officials had set.

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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