From the Wall Street Journal.
Last July, President Obama’s campaign announced that it had raised an average of $29 million in each of the previous three months for itself and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)… well below the $50 million a month needed to reach the campaign’s goal of a $1 billion war chest for the 2012 race.
[…]Through January, the president has raised an average of $24 million a month for his campaign and the DNC. Next week, the Obama campaign will release its February numbers, but the president is on track to be hundreds of millions of dollars shy of his original goal.
It’s not for lack of trying. Mr. Obama has already attended 103 fund-raisers, roughly one every three days since he kicked off his campaign last April (twice his predecessor’s pace).
The president faces other fund-raising challenges. For one, there are only so many times any candidate can go to New York or Hollywood or San Francisco for a $1 million fund-raiser. Team Obama is running through its easy money venues quickly.
For another, many of Mr. Obama’s 2008 donors are reluctant to give again. The Obama campaign itself reported that fewer than 7% of 2008 donors renewed their support in the first quarter of his re-election campaign. That’s about one-quarter to one-third of a typical renewal rate: In the first quarter of the Bush re-election campaign, for example, about 20% of the donors renewed their support.
[…]The final financial challenge facing Mr. Obama’s campaign is how fast it is burning through the cash it is raising. Compare the 2012 Obama re-election campaign with the 2004 Bush re-election campaign. Mr. Obama’s campaign spent 25% of what it raised in the second quarter of 2011, while Mr. Bush’s campaign spent only 9% in the second quarter of 2003. In the third quarter it was 46% for Obama versus 26% for Bush; for the fourth quarter it was 57% versus 40%. In January 2012 the Obama campaign spent 158% of what it raised, while the Bush campaign spent 60% in January 2004.
At the end of January, Team Obama had $91.7 million in cash in its coffers and those of the DNC. At the same point in 2004, the Bush campaign and Republican National Committee had $122 million in cash combined.
Compare that with Rick Santorum who is running a very frugal campaign which spends less and focuses instead on meeting with voters face-to-face. I find it surprising that Obama is struggling to find donors, though, given the amount of taxpayer money and favors that he’s favored his campaign fundraisers and “bundlers” with – e.g. government grants, political appointments, Wall Street bailouts, Obamacare waivers for unions, etc. Maybe even Democrats realize that buying votes while running the country into debt is not sustainable.