President Obama is making an urgent appeal for donations from supporters, after weeks of dismal fundraising conditions have hampered his efforts to raise cash and as the second major fundraising period of the 2012 campaign nears a close.
“The deadline we face in nine days is serious,” deputy Obama campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in an email message. “It will determine what kinds of resources we can commit to which states as we expand our ground game.”
Dillon cited the president’s deficit-reduction plan, specifically his support for the so-called Buffett Rule, and the final repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as two reasons to give.
She added that fundraising will be the “primary focus” of the campaign through the end of the month.
Obama has also stepped up his involvement in soliciting contributions, attending four fundraisers in the past week alone after more than a month on the sidelines. He and Vice President Joe Biden have nearly a dozen additional fundraisers scheduled for the next week and a half.
Meanwhile, campaign aides have sought to lower expectations for the third quarter fundraising total, which covers the period from July through September, despite a record-breaking $86 million raised together with the Democratic National Committee in the three months before.
They cite weeks of bad economic news, cancelled fundraisers during the debt-ceiling debate and the typical summer-month fundraising doldrums. Just how much those factors have affected donations, however, will be a telling indicator for the president’s re-election campaign in the months ahead.
One sign the numbers might be lower than expected: the Democratic National Committee this week reported its worst fundraising month of the year, collecting just $5.4 million in August. The Republican National Committee reported raising $8.2 million for the same period.