President Obama raised $86 million in the second quarter for his campaign, shattering previous fundraising records and far outpacing his GOP rivals.
The money included $47 million for his reelection campaign and $38 million for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), his campaign announced Wednesday in a video emailed to supporters.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina emphasized the number of small donors who gave to the campaign between April and the end of June. Obama's team had made a concentrated effort to woo those donors in the closing days of the quarter, taking to social-media sites to encourage contributions.
"The first few weeks of this campaign have been a test of our grassroots strength, and the results are in," Messina said in a conference call Wednesday morning. "Our supporters are back, they're energized."
The campaign said it collected donations from more than 552,000 individuals, 95 percent of which were smaller than $250. Messina seemed particularly excited to report that 260,000 donations came from individuals who had never given to Obama.
The $86 million includes individual donations directly to the Obama campaign and money collected through the Obama Victory Fund, a joint-fundraising account established to benefit the president's campaign and the DNC. That account doesn't collect money from political action committees; the Obama campaign said it would disclose on Friday the names of individuals who have helped "bundle" large donations for the campaign.
By combining fundraising efforts with the DNC, the Obama campaign is able to take advantage of the higher donation amounts allowed for the national committees. The president's victory fund can collect a maximum of $35,800, but only the first $5,000, per federal election law, can be sent to Obama's campaign; the rest is funneled to the DNC.
The Obama campaign had set a goal of raising a combined $60 million for the second quarter, which it easily outpaced. Messina wouldn't specify a goal for the next quarter.
Political observers were quick to note how the $86 million measured up against past fundraising reports for Obama and others.
Obama and then-Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE (D-N.Y.) raised a combined $60 million for the second quarter of 2007 for the presidential race, for instance. But Obama beat former President George W. Bush's campaign, dollar for dollar, versus the second quarter of 2003, when Bush collected $35.1 million for his presidential campaign (he also fundraised for the Republican National Committee). Bush had set the record for a single-quarter haul in the third quarter of 2003, at $50 million.
It's also not clear whether the Obama campaign, even with its joint fundraising, will reach the $1 billion total that has been mentioned as a possible goal. (His supporters have never officially embraced that figure.)
The Obama campaign didn't announce how much it had spent over the past quarter, or how much cash on hand it had left at the end of June. Those numbers will be included in its Federal Election Commission filing, due Friday.
But those figures are almost certain to dwarf what's been reported so far by the Republican presidential contenders.
Obama easily surpassed the combined total — $35 million — of his GOP rivals, although Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.) has yet to release her numbers. Friday is the deadline.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the top fundraiser among Republicans, reported raising $18 million in the second quarter. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised $4.2 million, while former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman raised $4.1 million. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) raised about $2 million; and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised about $4.5 million.
Whether fundraising picks up from here is uncertain. Messina set expectations low, saying the campaign is prepared to experience a summer lull that could affect its bottom line in the third quarter, though he vowed it would redouble its effort to court donors.
The second-quarter tally also benefited from an effort by Obama and Vice President Biden to reach out to donors in the first quarter, encouraging them to hold off on contributions until the campaign's formal launch on April 4.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the second-quarter numbers were a sign of "old supporters returning to the president and a new base of supporters that's excited and engaged."
Most of the Republican candidates have yet to respond to Obama's numbers.
A spokesman for Romney said his campaign would make sure Obama spent "it all."
“All the king's men and all the king’s money won't be able to put this humpty dumpty together again. The DC power structure is invested in President Obama — they should keep raising money, our goal is to make them spend it all,” Stuart Stevens said in a statement.
And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus dismissed the numbers as irrelevant.
"I don’t think any amount of money is going to save a president who, right now, even with the money coming into his coffers — he is not going to have the ability to pull the wool over the American people’s eyes," he said on Fox News.
This story was last updated at 1:49 p.m.