The Campaign Spot

Obama Fundraising in Trouble? Or Just Expectations Management?

We could be hearing the usual expectations-management from the Obama team, or we could be in for a surprisingly low number when the Obama 2012 campaign files their quarterly fundraising report. From today’s Morning Jolt:

Just How Bad Could Obama’s Fundraising Be This Quarter?

As the Lonely Conservative mentions above, there’s some speculation that Obama’s fundraising numbers for the quarter ending today will be way below expectations.

Keith Koffler writes at White House Dossier, “The Obama campaign appears to be signaling that its fundraising totals for the second quarter of the year – the first since President Obama announced for reelection – will not be as robust as the campaign would like.

In an email to campaign supporters today, President Obama unmistakably sought to downplay money.

‘We’re closing the books on the first fundraising quarter of the 2012 race at midnight tomorrow. A lot of folks will be interpreting our numbers as a measure of this campaign’s support. They’re not wrong, but they are wrong about why. We measure our success not in dollars but in people — in the number of everyday Americans who’ve chosen to give whatever they can afford because they know we’ve got more work to do.’

Campaign officials revealed during the last week that they have set a target of raising $60 million for the quarter from at least 450,000 donors. But even $60 million would not seem to be a very ambitious goal for Obama. He raised the same amount during the second quarter of 2007, just after he announced his 2008 campaign.”

To match the $750 million or so he raised in 2008, one would expect Obama to average closer to $100 million per quarter for the next seven quarters, no? And to meet the much-hyped $1 billion number, Obama would have to perform well beyond that.

Part of me always looks warily at these sorts of leading indicators, but we will know fairly soon if there’s a reason that the Obama team is emphasizing that they don’t measure their capability to successfully raise money by that traditional metric of money raised. In fact, if they don’t think the point of fundraising is to raise funds, that might explain a lot of their views on economics.

Meanwhile, National Journal is among those who notice that the conventional wisdom in Washington for the past six months has been typically wrong: “It’s been a rough June for the White House. Instead of being able to run a campaign taking credit for economic improvement, President Obama will, according to the latest forecasts, be trying to win four more years amid a grim economy next year. The president’s reelection team, once hoping to run on a “Morning in America” theme now doesn’t have that luxury.  No wonder, the president’s advisers over the past month have been making moves that suggest they’re awfully concerned about his prospects.”

“Unexpectedly!”  as those oft-quoted economists would say. Wonder how things will look after Friday’s jobs report.

Why, it’s almost as if people can’t donate as much to presidential campaigns when the economy is struggling!


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