President Obama raised $42 million for his re-election effort in the three closing months of 2011, with almost all donations coming in increments of $250 or less, his campaign manager Jim Messina said today in a web video.
The total, one of the indicators of a campaign's strength, underscored the robustness of Obama's operation, before the president has fully transitioned to campaign mode. It also highlights his continued success at re-engaging old supporters and enlisting new ones for 2012.
For all of 2011, more than 1.3 million Americans donated to help re-elect Obama, Messina said, exceeding their base of donors-supporters at this point in the last campaign.
More than 583,000 people wrote checks or gave money online between October and December alone, including 200,000 brand new faces who had never donated to Obama before, he said.
Ninety-eight percent of donations were $250 or less, with an average donation of $55, according to the campaign.
"This enthusiasm is in stark contrast to what we've seen on the other side," noted Messina, "where recent polls and studies show a dropping enthusiasm among Republican primary voters as they get to know their field."
Obama has now collected a total $131 million for his campaign. Combined with funds raised by the Democratic National Committee, which will work in tandem with the president, the total exceeds $220 million.
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney reported raising $56 million in 2011.
Despite the impressive sum, however, Messina warned Obama's supporters against complacency and exhorted them to spread the word - and give more and volunteer.
"Too many Obama supporters think we don't need their money or they don't need to give now," he said, citing an assumption in some corners that Obama is on pace to raise $1 billion. "The billion-dollar number is completely untrue." (Last month, Messina called the billion dollar figure bullsh**)
"Some people think we have a magic formula to win this campaign," he said. "What we have is you."