Open Thread: Obama's Fundraising Not as Staggering as It Seems

The Federal Election Commission, which serves to govern the financing of federal elections, ended its second quarter for presidential fundraising on June 30. Of the Republican candidates who released their numbers, former Gov. Mitt Romney led the Republican presidential hopefuls with $18.3 million, trailed by Rep. Ron Paul with $4.5 million, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty with $4.2 million, and former ambassador and Gov. Jon Huntsman with $4.1 million. Earlier this morning, Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina previewed President Barack Obama's fundraising numbers and placed his fundraising sum at $86 million, far overshadowing any of his GOP competitors.

While the number appears ominous to his rivals, it isn't as staggering as it seems, and might even place Obama behind the mark of where he hopes to be. As National Review's Jim Geraghty explains, Obama's fundraising is actually behind his 2008 pace, and if he keeps the same pace for the remaining seven quarters, will not come close to achieving his goal of $1 billion. Check out more of Geraghty's analysis after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The first point Geraghty brings up is Obama's fundraising total is actually the sum of money raised by his campaign plus money raised for the Democratic National Committee. When the DNC dollars are subtracted out, Obama's campaign total falls to $47 million. Also, GOP contributions are split among a number of candidates instead of funneled behind one, and do not include RNC fundraising dollars. As Geraghty explains,

Is Obama ahead in fundraising? Yes, and probably by quite a bit. But the comparison is not Obama and the DNC’s $86 million against Romney’s $18.3 million. The comparison is Obama and the DNC’s $86 million against Romney [or your preferred candidate] + $12 million for the RNC in April and May + the RNC’s June total. Will Obama still be comfortably ahead? Of course. And he probably should be, considering how he’s an incumbent president who has hit the fundraising trail with a fast and furious pace.

Further, the money raised, even with DNC fundraising included, is not at par with his 2008 fundraising, much less his goal of $1 billion.

But again, to match his $750 million from the 2008 cycle, Obama would need to average $107 million for seven quarters. Obviously, it is possible that Obama can make up ground in the next few quarters. But to hit that hyped $1 billion number, Obama would need to raise a bit more than $142 million per quarter. As impressive as the $86 million figure is, it’s below those markers.

As Hot Air points out, the number also falls behind former President George W. Bush's third quarter fundraising, which raked in $49.5 million.

What do you think the slowed fundraising pace means for Obama? Do you think it's a sign of trouble for his campaign, or just a sign of a weaker economy than 2008?

Campaign Financing 2012 Presidential Campaigns & Elections Open Thread