Despite government deficit, Obama campaign flush with cash

President Obama speaks at a DNC fundraiser at the Navy Pier in Chicago, April 14, 2011. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama speaks at a DNC fundraiser at Chicago's Navy Pier
President Obama speaks at a DNC fundraiser in Chicago in April.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 12:50 p.m. ET

The federal government faces financial default, but the Obama re-election campaign is flush.

Campaign Manager Jim Messina sent a video to campaign supporters early this morning that the Obama Victory Fund had raised over $86 million in the first three months of its operations: April through June.

That amount is over 4½ times the $18.25 million taken in by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign during the same period and 20 times the contributions received by most of the other Republicans hoping to oust President Obama from his job.

The Obama Victory Fund is a joint fundraising operation of the Obama For America re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee - both committed to the president's re-election. Of the $86 million raised in the 2nd quarter, over $47 million went to the campaign and over $38 million to the DNC.

During the same period in 2003, then-President Bush's campaign for re-election raised $34.4 million, but it started accepting contributions in mid-May. The Obama campaign began in early April.

In his video, Messina trumpets that the amounts raised come from over 552,000 individual contributions. He says 98 percent of the contributions are $250 or less and the average donation is $69.

CBSNews.com special report: Election 2012

Later, in a conference call with reporters, Messina made a point of saying that of the 552,000 contributors, more than 260,000 had never contributed before to Mr. Obama - either this year or in 2007/2008.

"This should end any Washington chatter on whether or not our grassroots base will be engaged,' said Messina. "There's a new generation of supporters who have joined."

He also said Mr.Obama's grass roots supporters are back and "they're energized."

Out CBS News tally also shows that Mr. Obama did 35 political fund-raisers so far this year, 31 of them specifically for the Obama Victory Fund. Tickets for the events ranged from as little as $25 to as much as $35,800 - the legal maximum for a single year. Of that amount, $5000 went to the Obama campaign split between his primary and general election campaigns. The remainder went to the DNC.

The Obama Campaign also boosted its contribution count by staging a contest to win a chance to have dinner with the president and Vice President Biden. Supporters were encouraged to send a contribution as small as $5.00 to enter the contest, though under federal lottery rules, no contribution could be required.

It's grassroots contributions and support that the Obama campaign remains committed to expanding. It was that strategy that helped Candidate Obama raise 3/4s of a billion dollars in his run for the White House that began in 2007. Some analysts see the president aiming for a billion dollars in his re-election drive.

In his video (at left), Messina made it clear that much of the money raised so far will be used to bring "more and more people" into the campaign and establish more Obama campaign offices around the country.

Messina said the campaign would file some 15,000 pages of documents with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, the deadline for 2nd quarter filings.

The papers will include the names of all the contributors to the Obama campaign during that period and the amounts donated.

  • Mark Knoller On Twitter»

    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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