Can the Obama Campaign's Fund-Raising Compete With McCain?

obama podium 1 Can the Obama Campaign's Fund Raising Compete With McCain?The $52 million the Obama campaign raised in June is a good deal more than John McCain’s $22 million, and much better than the $30 million number reported earlier in the week, which an Obama bundler had advised me was very low.

But the relevant bar is really whether it’s enough to fund the 50-state, mega-scale campaign Obama is running, and enough, compared with what McCain has, to make up for the loss of public financing.

At least in the opinion of one Democratic consultant I spoke to today, it is.

The consultant, speaking on background, said the total amount of money at Obama’s disposal, when combined with the D.N.C.’s haul, comes to roughly $92 million on hand, and "allows them to be confident to keep putting people in place" in the states, and spending loads of money on organization and campaign infrastructure. The number, the consultant also noted, was raised in a month when the campaign had to address fallout from Hillary Clinton’s angry donors, who weren’t exactly feeling generous to Obama or the D.N.C. Also, Obama fund-raisers had to contend with anger among his previously staunch supporters in the Netroots, who expressed anger over Obama’s vote in favor of the FISA legislation.

The consultant said the campaign’s gimmicky competitions, like the one that gave small-dollar donors a chance to win backstage time with Obama, was smart, because it helped keep the average contribution number to $68, which gives them a Democratic-sounding talking point.

Regardless of the size of the individual donations, the consultant said, the total permitted Obama to keep quietly spending money on personnel and infrastructure, and to crush McCain in advertising spending.

"In terms of management of resources they’re the best campaign we’ve had," said the consultant. "That’s the part of their operation that has been really impressive."