(AFP) – Oct 19, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democrat Barack Obama more than doubled his fundraising record with a mammoth September haul of more than 150 million dollars for the final stretch of his White House campaign, aides said Sunday.
The extravaganza of giving enabled Obama to demolish his previous one-month record of 66 million dollars in August, which had already set him fair to hit Republican John McCain hard in the closing months of their race.
"Because of your great generosity we had a record-breaking September," Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe said as he prepared to file the month's fundraising figures with the Federal Election Commission.
"We are going to report tomorrow to the FEC that we raised over 150 million dollars in September which has allowed us to run such a strong campaign in all of these battleground states," he said in a video message to supporters.
Aides said Obama now has more than 3.1 million donors. The campaign added 632,000 members to its army of grassroots donors last month who each gave an average of 86 dollars.
"The two groups that have given us the most contributions are retirees and students -- which shows how Barack's call for change has sort of spanned the generations -- nurses, teachers, small business owners," Plouffe said.
"It really is the fabric of America who has built this campaign, contributed to the campaign volunteering."
By attracting low-dollar amounts from many, rather than big amounts from a few, Obama has been able to keep returning to the same donors for more funds before they reach federal limits.
That has fired his campaign to unprecedented cash hauls and informed Obama's controversial decision to become the first presidential candidate to forgo public financing.
McCain accepted public financing, accusing Obama of breaking his word to preserve the system, and so is limited to spending no more than 84 million dollars on his general election campaign.
Despite the bumper haul, Plouffe appealed to donors to keep stumping up on the closing stretch before the November 4 election.
New funds were needed to unleash campaign resources in suddenly competitive states such as Georgia, North Dakota and West Virginia, he said in the video.
"You have probably seen -- if you live in a battleground state, you have certainly seen this -- the robo-calls, the mail pieces and the nasty ads and the nasty radio ads," Plouffe said.
"They are just going to increase in intensity and so we have to have the ability to fight back against that."
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