Obama’s fundraising totals dwarfs competition with record $86 million

by Kaitlin Walker

U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign raised a record $86 million between April and June, the most of any presidential candidate in the second quarter of fundraising, the Washington Post reported.

Obama’s totals dwarf those of the Republican candidates, who have made about $35 million combined. Mitt Romney currently leads the Republican hopefuls, with $18.25 million.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised $4.2 million in the second fundraising quarter. Fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michele Bachmann is expected to release her fundraising numbers Friday.

Incumbents typically have an easier time fundraising, as they benefit from the parties’ national committees. While about $47 million of Obama’s total was donated directly, the remaining $38 million was given to the Democratic National Committee.

The Washington Post reported that 552,462 people donated to the president, including 260,000 who did not donate to his 2008 campaign. Campaign officials have already started rallying supporters, opening 60 offices in states across the country.

The Republicans have a chance to catch up thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision that overturned a ban on corporate donations. Outside conservative groups can now raise an unlimited amount of money in contributions, which is expected to help close the gap between Obama and GOP candidates.