Presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama raised $51 million in July, pushing the total he has raised since his presidential quest began to more than $390 million.
His take for the month dipped slightly from the $52 million he raised in June. But he nearly matched the roughly $53 million raised by rival Sen. John McCain and the Republican National Committee combined in July.
Obama’s total is significantly more than what the eventual nominees had raised by this time four years ago. President Bush had raised $240 million at this point in 2004, and Sen. John F. Kerry had collected $210 million.
With the $27 million he raised in July, McCain’s total stands at about $153 million.
In a statement, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said 65,000 new donors in July “demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to fundamentally change business as usual in Washington.”
The Democratic National Committee and two other committees seeking money for Obama raised in an additional $27.7 million last month.
Obama is spending heavily on television ads in battleground states and during high-priced Olympic time slots. As a result, the Democrat’s cash in the bank slipped to $65.8 million at the end of July from $71.6 million at the end of June.
Obama, McCain and their respective parties appear to be on track to raise and spend $500 million each by the Nov. 4 election.
Obama and McCain are relying on large donors who can give the maximum $28,500 to their parties and $2,300 directly to their campaigns. But Obama has an edge: a massive number of small donors. His campaign says he has received money from more than 2 million contributors, compared with McCain’s 600,000. Obama expects to raise more than McCain in part by seeking more money from that army of donors.
McCain, by contrast, is taking an $84-million grant of federal tax money to run his fall campaign. He also can use about $19 million from the RNC. Additionally, the committee and various state parties can spend unlimited sums in independent campaigns on the nominee’s behalf.
Despite Obama’s record-breaking fundraising pace, McCain and the Republican National Committee maintained parity in terms of cash on hand, largely on the strength of the RNC itself.
McCain previously announced that he had raised $27 million in July. The RNC raised $26 million. McCain and the GOP had slightly more in the bank at the end of July than Obama, the DNC and its various committees, $96 million to $94.3 million.
The Federal Election Commission, meanwhile, counted money raised by the national parties, their state counterparts and the main committees established to fund congressional races.
Overall, the main national Republican committees have raised $409 million and have $119 million in the bank, compared with the Democrats’ $351 million raised and $117.5 million in the bank.
The commission noted that despite its lead, the Republican total is down by 12% from what it was four years ago, when the GOP controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress.
Democrats have raised 26% more in this election cycle than in 2004, in large part a result of fundraising by their congressional leaders. Democratic Senate and House campaign committees have raised nearly twice what they had raised at this point four years ago.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has raised $93.3 million to the Republican Senatorial Committee’s $58.8 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $109 million through the end of June, compared with the Republican National Congressional Committee’s $80.3 million.