Saturday, October 06, 2012

Last 'Dinner with Barack' Helps President Obama, Dems Raise Record $181 Million For September

Celebrity fundraisers help fill coffers, too...
President Obama and the Democrats demolished this election cycle's record for monthly fundraising, his campaign announced on Saturday morning, raising $181 million across committees for the month of September.   The total raised for this election is $950 million, with exactly a month until Election Day.
 Aides took to Twitter and emailed supporters to announce what Campaign Manager Jim Messina hailed as "amazing news."  The Campaign highlighted the support of small-dollar donors; the month included a huge push to woo $5 entries for the sixth and final Dinner with Barack contest.  The President also had a series of pricey fundraising dinners and receptions in September, and each dropped millions into his war chest.  (Above:  The President with Jay-Z and Beyoncé on Sept. 17; the $40,000/ticket event raised more than $4 million)

1,825,813 people donated to the President's war chest in September; of these, 567,000 "were new to this organization—not having given before in 2008 or 2012," was tweeted on @BarackObama. The average contribution was $53, and 98% of all contributions were for $250 or less.

Ahead of the September 25th entry deadline, the effort to get donors to try for a dinner date with President Obama included more emails than for any other dinner contest, including multiple missives from the President, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and aide.  All focused on the fact that the sixth dinner is the end of a campaign "tradition."  Two dinner videos were released, and there was aggressive wooing on Twitter and Facebook.  Animated banner ads appeared all over the internet.

"This is the last time on this campaign that I'll ask you: Want to meet for dinner?" President Obama wrote in one email.

The Obama Campaign declines to note how much money is raised specifically from the dinner contests, but the standard ask of $5 in September was up from the standard $3 ask for the previous dinner contests.  The Jay-Z and Beyoncé fundraiser included a contest element, too, with the pop diva personally emailing supporters to ask them to donate to try to win a chance to party with her husband and the President.

In his email announcing the September fundraising haul, Messina asked for another $5 donation "so we can keep our guy--the right guy--in the Oval Office," as he praised a $6 donor.

"Laurie, a factory worker in Iowa, perfectly captured the spirit of our campaign," Messina wrote, noting that she said "I actually love that you can make a six-dollar donation. Six bucks? Come on, that's a burger or some coffee."

September's fundraising total beat August's total of $114 million, which was the first time since April the Obama Campaign outraised GOP challenger Mittt Romney. Romney has not yet announced his fundraising totals for the month.

"Since this campaign launched in April 2011, a total of 3,922,420 people have pitched in to make it what it is," was another tweet from @BarackObama.

The President heads to Los Angeles, California on Sunday for more fundraising.  He will attend a $25,000/ticket reception at a private residence, another event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and another event at the Nokia Theater with pop singer Katy Perry headlining.

On Monday, the President will fundraise in Northern California, with three more events, including a $20,000/plate dinner hosted by chef Alice Waters in San Francisco, where singer John Legend will perform.

*Photo by Obama for America