President Obama shattered his $60 million total fundraising target for the second quarter of 2011, raking in $86 million for both his re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That's more than twice the amount that all of his 2012 Republican rivals brought in combined. At the same point in the 2004 election cycle, then-President George W. Bush had raised about $50 million. With such a financial advantage, will Team Obama be unstoppable?
This might just make Obama unbeatable: The master fundraiser took in three times more than his closest Republican contender, Mitt Romney, says Henry Blodget at Business Insider. And the $86 million figure doesn't even include money raised by Priorities USA, the Obama-affiliated Super Pac. The crowded GOP field is "off to a slow start," while Obama is smashing expectations, proving once again that "he will be very difficult for Republicans to beat."
"Obama campaign shatters records, raises $86 million"
Obama's edge is being exaggerated: OK, $86 million is "an impressive sum by any measure," says Jim Geraghty at National Review. But only $47 million of that went to Obama's campaign; the rest was fundraising he did for the Democratic National Committee. Obama still has an impressive war chest, and a comfortable financial lead over every Republican contender. But he's still way behind the pace to reach the much-hyped target of $1 billion, or even his 2008 mark of $750 million.
"Alternative headline: Obama 2012 fundraising behind 2008 pace"
Don't forget about powerful GOP-friendly groups: Conservatives might try to shrug off this big news, says Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo. After all, they "have long expected to be outraised and outspent in 2012, but Obama's haul eclipses even those expectations." However, it's hardly all doom and gloom for Republicans. Thanks to the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited corporate spending on elections, the GOP will benefit from as much as $500 million extra in GOP-leaning outside spending, which could offset Obama's advantage.
"Obama, DNC pull in $86 million in last fundraising quarter"