Obama to Draw Big Crowds on Rare Vermont, Maine Swing
President Obama's fundraising trip to Vermont and Maine on Friday won't rank among his most lucrative, but it will turn out his largest crowds so far in the 2012 campaign.
An afternoon concert-fundraiser at the University of Vermont in Burlington is expected to draw 4,500 supporters, making it the single biggest Obama campaign event to date in this election cycle. General admission tickets for the event started at $100 apiece, campaign officials said, and include a performance by local rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Obama's swing through the Green Mountain State - the first by a sitting president since 1995 - will conclude with a $7,500-per-plate luncheon with 100 donors at the Sheraton Burlington, according to an invitation for the event obtained by ABC News.
Both Vermont fundraisers are expected to raise at least $1.2 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account that funnels money to Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Obama will spend his evening fundraising in neighboring Maine, where he'll headline another of his largest events of the campaign so far - an 1,800-person rally at Southern Maine Community College in Portland - and attend a more intimate, high-dollar dinner at the Portland Museum of Art.
Tickets for the college rally began at $100 and up, campaign officials said, while the dinner for 130 guests was $5,000 per person.
All told, the one-day New England foray will net at least $2 million for the 2012 election, less than half what Obama raised on a Friday of fundraising in Chicago and Atlanta two weeks ago.
The push for cash comes as the March fundraising period comes to a close and the Obama campaign prepares to file its monthly fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission. The reports are seen as barometers of support and enthusiasm for a candidate and a measure of the competitiveness of a campaign.
Obama and Democrats reported raising $45 million in February, well ahead of their Republican rivals, but off their record-setting fundraising pace of four years ago for the second consecutive month. With Friday's fundraisers, Obama has attended 113 money events for the 2012 campaign, more than any of his predecessors at this point in his term.