Obama campaign raises $45 million in February

President Barack Obama waves before boarding Air Force One at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, March, 16, 2012. Obama is traveling on to Atlanta for another fundraiser. AP

President Obama
AP

President Obama continues to raise increasing amounts of money for his re-election campaign, which announced this morning that it took in $45 million in February.

That's more than the $29 million raised in January and still more than the $23 million per month during the last quarter of 2011.

A CBS News tally shows Mr. Obama did 15 fundraising events in February - averaging out to one every other day. He did 14 such events in January.

But most of the money comes from people who don't attend fundraisers. The Obama campaign trumpets that over 348,000 individual contributions were taken in last month and the average amount was $59. A video posted by the Obama campaign this morning also boasts that 98 percent of the donations received were $250 or less - an effort to suggest a grass roots base of support.

The Obama campaign runs an aggressive fundraising drive - that includes sweepstakes - which offer a grand prize of dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Obama to winners and their guests.

Contributions of $3 or more qualify a donor for entry in the contest, though in accord with federal sweepstakes laws, anyone can enter without making sending in any money.

The president and First Lady paid off on the latest contest on March 8th, sitting down to dinner at a D.C. restaurant with a non-profit executive from Nashville, a social worker from Wisconsin and a retired school administrator from Cambridge, Mass. The winners got about 75 minutes of face time and supper time with the Obamas. Contributions are already being accepted for the latest contest.

The Mitt Romney campaign already announced that it raised $11.5 million in February - bringing its campaign total to $75 million. Of course, Romney has been competing against other Republicans for campaign cash while Mr. Obama has the Democratic presidential financial field to himself.

The Romney campaign said it has raised a total $75 million since its candidate threw his hat in the ring. The Obama campaign total is about $300 million, which includes re-election contributions to the Democratic National Committee raised jointly with campaign funds.

The $45 million raised in February by the Obama campaign is not as much as the $56 million it raised four years earlier in 2008, but every campaign has to deal with donor fatigue especially after four years of an economy struggling to recovery.

Money is at the heart of the Obama campaign strategy to win the president a second term, just as record fund-raising helped a junior senator win the presidency four years ago.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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