President Obama raises $45 million in February

President Obama raised $45 million in February, an impressive joint effort by his reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee that shows his continued fundraising dominance.

In January, the president raised $29.1 million. The major jump is a sign that he is entering a new and more aggressive fundraising phase.

But he is still far behind his record-breaking 2008 campaign — in February of that year, Obama raised $56 million.

According to the campaign, 348,000 people contributed in February and the average donation was $59. Nearly 98 percent of the donations were of $250 or less.

Obama has focused on small donors while lagging behind his 2008 campaign in large-dollar donations.

Obama released his numbers in a YouTube video featuring young staffers and thanking donors:

The president’s success drawing a large number of relatively modest donors stands in sharp contrast to his struggle to attract big-dollar gifts. A super PAC hoping to bring major donors to Obama’s campaign has had a tough time raising funds, even after Obama reversed course and gave the group his blessing. Priorities USA Action raised just $2 million in February — small change compared to what Republican super PACs are raising and planning to spend. But the candidate himself is well-positioned.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, raised $11.5 million last month — that campaign’s second-strongest fundraising month to date.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum raised $9 million, after months of struggling to attract donations. If he remains competitive with Romney on bringing in cash, that only helps Obama.

The Obama campaign did not release cash on hand numbers; the deadline for Federal Election Commission reports is Tuesday.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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