Posted by WLS:
Updated** — Note below that I say the Obama campaign and the DNC have a combined $72 million cash on hand at the end of June. This is being reported elsewhere that Obama has $72 million cash on hand. On this washingtonpost blog they repeat the $72 million number, and claim the DNC has another $20 million, giving them a combined $92 million, nearly as much as McCain and the RNC. Armbinder has the text from the letter the Obama campaign sent to its contributors:
The Obama campaign and the DNC ended June with a combined total of nearly $72 million in the bank. It’s a healthy number. But McCain and the RNC together still have a huge cash advantage, and we need your help to close the gap.
Much is being made of the fact that Obama revealed today that his campaign raised $52 million in June, second only to this record breaking fundraising in February when he raised $55 million.
But, can someone explain why this number comes out today in the form of a letter to contributors, but no FEC filing has yet been made? What would be in an FEC filing? Well, little things like “expenditures” for the month of June, and “Cash-on-Hand” as of June 30. Obama says that the campaign and the DNC combined have $72 million — but doesn’t how much of that is Obama’s money. If they did, we’d be able to figure out how much Obama spent in June, and how much cash-on-hand does the Obama campaign have? Lets do a little math:
According to his filing for the month of May, Obama had $43 million cash on hand on 5/31. Add to that his $52 million raised in June, and his cash available to pay expenses in June was $95 million. Now the letter today tells us that Obama and the DNC combined have $72 million cash on hand as of the end of June, but they don’t tell us how much Obama has. If we accept the accuracy of the reported expenditure amount of $42 million for June, then Obama’s campaign would have only $53 million cash on hand at the end of June.
It was suggested by people close to the campaign that they thought he might raise $100 million in June, after Obama announced that he would not seek public financing for the general election.
“Specifically, they say Obama could raise $100 million in June and could attract 2.5 million to 3 million new donors to his campaign.”
“One hundred million dollars this June — it’s definitely within reach,” said Wade Randlett, who has raised more than $200,000 for Obama.”
Randlett said Obama would not likely reach the awe-inspiring total if he limited himself to contributions that could only be spent before the August convention.
“The big question is when we really open the floodgates to general-election money,” he said.
Second, if Obama’s burn rate in June was $42 million, he only put $10 million in the bank after he paid all his bills.
But lets also look at Marc Arbinder’s comments on Obama’s numbers over at The Atlantic:
The average contribution was $68.00, which does not tell us how much of the $52 million came from $2300 checks. Obama spent more time at fundraisers this month than at any time in the past.
One way Obama has played the PR campaign on the size of the “average” donor was to count every person who bought a button or bumper sticker as a “donor”. Those $5 “contributions” work to bring the “average” way down.
Also from Armbinder:
“$50 million of the $52 million can be spent before the convention; it’s not clear right now how much general election cash Obama has banked.
This is HUGELY important.