Fundraising by the Democratic National Committee and President Barack Obama's re-election campaign dwarfs that of his Republican rivals, but he continues to struggle to match Mitt Romney and anti-Obama super PACs in big donations.
The re-election campaign announced Monday in a series of tweets ahead of the Federal Election Commission's filing deadline that at least $45 million was raised by the Democratic National Committee, Obama for America and two joint fundraising committees, the Obama Victory Fund and the Swing State Victory Fund.
Like in in 2008 and months past, Obama's campaign war chest is heavily dependent on small donors. A new video (below) released by BarackObama.com touts that the average donation in February was $59.04 and that 97.7 percent of donations were $250 or less.
Forty-five million dollars is also a huge leap from 29.1 million raised in January, a sign that Obama's re-election efforts have become more aggressive. As of some point last week, Obama has attended 107 fundraisers since kicking off his campaign in April and 40 in this year alone.
The haul, however, isn't as much as the $55 million Obama raised--not including donations from the DNC--at the same time in 2008 while running against Hillary Clinton.
This year, Obama and his allies are under pressure to bring in more money from big-time donors. The super PAC that supports Obama, Priorities USA Action, only raised $2 million, half of which was contributed by sharp-tongued talk-show host Bill Maher, ABC News reported.
Restore Our Future, a super PAC created by former aides to Mitt Romney, raised $6.6 million in January, FEC filings show. About 97 percent of its donations so far consist of $25,000 or more, the New York Times calculated. (Super PACS are campign finance committees that can raise unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates but are forbidden to work with the candidate's official campaign itself.)
A super PAC led by Rove, American Crossroads, spends most of its money on ads attacking Obama and raised $5.1 million in January.
Obama's strength with small donors compared to Romney is nothing new. A report released by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute last month revealed that 48 percent of Obama's money came from small donors, compared to 9 percent for Romney.
While Obama's lack of bigger donations may be a financial problem, the comparison with Romney can work in the favor of his campaign. Obama and his supporters have easily attacked the former Massachusetts governor as a billionaire with wealthy friends unable to connect with everyday Americans and who doesn't understand the middle class.
Obama's re-election campaign also announced that more than 348,000 people contributed the donations in February, 105,000 of which were first time donors.
Romney's and Obama's February finance reports will be officially published by the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.