President Obama has amassed a formidable team of more than 240 big-dollar fundraisers just three months into his 2012 reelection campaign, including more than two dozen bundlers who have each raised at least $500,000.
Obama’s official campaign raised $46.3 million and spent $11 million from April to June of this year, according to new documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. That left it with a whopping $37 million in the bank, including money left over from the first quarter. Obama also brought in $39.3 million in a joint fundraising effort with the Democratic National Committee, the filings show.
The numbers put Obama far ahead of his GOP rivals, who are led by Mitt Romney with nearly $18.4 million raised. The former Massachusetts governor also reported $12 million of cash on hand at the end of June.
The rest of the field lags well behind, and some, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, are already in the red.
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty spent $2 million in the quarter, leaving him only $1.4 million in primary cash to battle Romney and other contenders in the weeks ahead. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), on the other hand, has $3.6 million in the bank only weeks after declaring her candidacy.
For Obama, the sheer number of bundlers — and the volume of donations they represent — signals another potential juggernaut like 2008, when he shattered all records by raising $745 million. During his first campaign, he had 47 bundlers who raised $500,000 or more — a total he is already more than halfway to matching.
Obama’s biggest bundlers include longtime supporters such as Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, former New Jersey governor and senator Jon Corzine, and fashion editor Anna Wintour. But there are new names on the campaign’s bundlers list as well, such as Marc Benioff, a tech CEO who runs salesforce.com.
Several of the key bundlers, including Benioff, held events at their homes in which Obama came. These events usually gave donors special access to Obama, including the chance to ask the president direct questions in a closed-door atmosphere.
Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel, the brother of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, helped raise between $50,000 and $100,000.
Romney did not release a full list of bundlers, but his campaign was required to disclose bundling by six registered lobbyists, totaling $517,000 in contributions. The lobbyists included Patrick Durkin of Barclays, who raised $168,000, and Wayne Berman, with Ogilvy Government Relations, who raised $102,000.
The lobbyist bundler requirement was put in place by an ethics law sponsored by then-senator Obama, who has not accepted contributions from registered lobbyists or corporate PACs in his presidential bids. The Obama campaign attacked the GOP field on Friday for declining to identify their top fundraisers.