President Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised $70 million during the summer, increasing Obama's big financial advantage over his potential Republican rivals. In his best quarter, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney took in $18 million. Rick Perry led the GOP field over the summer, raising $17 million. But Obama's haul fell short of the $86 million he raised during the previous three months, and his poll numbers are down. Is Obama's "robust total" a sign that his campaign is gaining steam, or losing it?

Obama is losing momentum: Don't believe the "sunny spin," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Obama raised $16 million more in the second quarter of 2011 than in the third. A 19-percent drop isn't fatal, "but it's hardly an indication of continuing momentum." Maybe Obama's old donors are tapped out, or maybe he's just "having trouble finding new donors." Either way, it looks like he'll raise a fraction of the $1 billion he once hoped.
"Obama, DNC raise $70 million in Q3"

The numbers show Obama is gaining strength: "Rick Perry wowed the Republican field with a $17 million haul," says Jed Lewison at Daily Kos. Raising four times as much as the top Republican, instead of five times, is not something to worry about. And the "most notable number" for Obama is that 600,000 individual Americans donated to his cause. That's more than in the previous quarter, a sign the base is rallying behind him.
"Rick Perry wowed the Republican field with a $17 million haul"

Either way, it won't be easy for Republicans to catch up: "By the time the Republicans have settled on a nominee," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway, "Barack Obama is likely to have several hundred million, if not close to a billion, dollars in the bank." He'll also have a fully funded operation in place nationwide. "Don't go measuring for drapes in the Oval Office just yet, Republicans."
"Obama/DNC raise a combined $70 million"