Two-thirds of Obama campaign cash from small donors

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of the $86 million raised by President Barack Obama for his re-election effort in recent months came from small donations of under $200 or less, according to filings released on Friday.

Obama released top-line data on his campaign from April to June earlier this week which showed him breaking a prior fundraising record by former president George W. Bush. Obama’s campaign raised $47 million on its own and another $39 million was generated by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The data underscored the campaign’s promise of targeting small-dollar donations instead of powerful political action committees, as the Democratic incumbent seeks re-election in 2012.

More than 65 per cent of the funds raised by the Democratic incumbent’s campaign, Obama for America, were from donations of $200 or less, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. On average, 61 per cent of contributions made to the DNC were less than $200.

Obama’s incumbency has allowed him to raise more than his Republican rivals, who have to battle each other while seeking their party’s presidential nomination and who lack a national committee.

The Republican front-runner Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million in the second quarter, with just $1 million, or about 6 per cent, coming from donations of $200 or less, according to campaign filings.

The fast-rising Michele Bachmann, a Republican Representative from Minnesota, raised $4.2 million in the second quarter, including a $2 million transfer from her House committee, her campaign said on Friday.

Obama’s campaign also on Friday disclosed a list of so-called bundlers, 244 wealthy people who commit to raise a certain amount of money, for example $100,000 or more, for the campaign.

None of the major Republican candidates choose to release such detailed lists.

Among Obama’s bundlers are hedge fund manager Orin Kramer, and Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour.

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