President Obama and Vice President Biden are pitching their job-creation plan to crowds of deep-pocket donors today, as the battle to save their own jobs might increasingly depend on more campaign cash.
Obama headlines two fundraising events at private residences in Washington tonight, while Biden stumps at separate events in Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas, according to schedules put out by the White House. The two have close to a dozen additional fundraisers planned before the end of the month.
“All we want to do is get this vicious cycle and turn it into a virtuous cycle,” Biden told a group of 60 North Carolina donors, who each paid at least $5,000 for breakfast with the VP, in asking for their help winning a second term.
The joint fundraising push comes after more than a month on the sidelines by Obama, and two weeks before the latest required Federal Election Commission filing, which will provide a glimpse of the financial vibrancy of the campaign headed into the fall.
Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee reported raising a record $86 million in April, May and June and engaging an unprecedented 550,000 donors and volunteers.
But weeks of bad economic news and partisan wrangling sent the president’s approval rating tumbling in the summer, and along with it the once-robust pace of his campaign fundraising.
With the debt-ceiling debate dominating much of the calendar in July, Obama was forced to cancel or postpone at least half a dozen fundraisers.
The president has only attended five fundraising events since June, while he had attended 22 at the same point in the second quarter. All have been joint fundraisers for both the Obama campaign and the DNC.
Democrats already reported a drop in fundraising during July, when the party tabulated its lowest monthly haul of the year, and they might announce an even smaller number for August when the party submits a report next week.
Democratic sources say the preliminary total for August might be more than $1 million less than in July, according to Reuters. Party officials declined to confirm the figure, saying a report was still being finalized.
As for the Obama campaign, aides told a meeting of top donors in Chicago last week that their goal for the quarter is $55 million — $5 million less than the target set during the previous three-month period.
Campaign aides have said all along that the summer months would likely not yield the robust dollar figures seen immediately after the president’s re-election kickoff in April. And historical precedent shows both parties have reported smaller collections in the third quarter before an election year than they did the quarter before.
But just how steeply the dollars for Obama might have dwindled this summer will be a telling indicator for the president’s re-election campaign in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, Obama and his surrogates aren’t wasting any time, planning a flurry of fundraisers before Sept. 30 that they hope will put millions more in the bank.
Obama is expected to solicit donations from donors in New York City next week when he heads there for the U.N. General Assembly. He will also stump for cash during a Western states swing through Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver the following week.
Sources say Biden will visit Charleston, S.C., Boca Raton, Fla., and Miami in pursuit of campaign contributions, all before the end of the month.