Published on Saturday 18 February 2012 01:55
President Barack Obama raised $29.1 million for his campaign and the Democratic Party in January, adding to his momentum as Republican rivals were distracted by their internal battle.
The Obama campaign announced the fundraising figure in a Twitter message yesterday morning. The month’s haul raises Mr Obama’s total combined fundraising for the current election cycle to about $250m.
Raising money is even more important in this election after a US Supreme Court ruling opened the door to big-money donations to groups that support campaigns. The super political action committees, or super PACs, are supposed to be independent, but critics have pointed out the possibility for abuse.
Mr Obama often criticised the super PACs but abruptly changed his mind and embraced them this month after their influence in the Republican race became clear. The groups have already spent millions on attack adverts and are poised to spend more in the election.
The Obama campaign said 98 per cent of the January donations were of $250 or less.
The Campaign Finance Institute, which analyses contributions, found that small donors – whose aggregate contributions amounted to less than $200 – accounted for 48 per cent of Obama’s campaign income in 2011, but only 9 per cent of 2011 fundraising for Mitt Romney, who is battling for front-runner status in the Republican primary and is the party’s top fundraiser.