Obama Raises $32 Million in January

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic and Dean Reynolds:

LOS ANGELES -- Barack Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters the campaign raised at least $32 million for the primary in the month of January. He attributes the spike in fund-raising to the Iowa win but said the strongest fund-raising came the day after the New Hampshire primary.

"We added a large amount of donors that day." Plouffe said, "The ability to raise this kind of money is critical."

Plouffe said the campaign is now to able advertise in all February 5th states and has acquired new donors many of whom are now volunteering for the campaign. Just in the month of January, the campaign added 170,000 new donors.

To put this into perspective, Obama's raised about the same amount during his best fund-raising QUARTER last year.

Meantime, Obama keeps rolling a long with his huge crowds, his gushing endorsements, and his soaring speeches. Each event more impressive than the one preceding it. And yet the Obama campaign has a problem. It may be a perception problem, but it's a problem nonetheless.

Because with the Super Tuesday contests looming in 22 states, polls show the Illinois senator leading in exactly four, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas and his home state. Not good.

Hillary Clinton, now his lone rival for the nomination, remains much better known nationwide and certainly as well – if not better – financed (Clinton's campaign hasn't revealed their January fund-raising numbers). She retains a comfortable lead in California, New York and New Jersey which offer huge delegate totals.

Moreover, Obama's success can be attributed in large part to a well-organized field operation that blankets states like South Carolina or Iowa. That is not possible on a day in which 22 states are in play.

Yet the Obama folks remain confident. They have a lot of money. And they point to the crucial fact that these Democratic contests are not winner-take-all like the Republicans. The delegates will be awarded proportionally according to congressional district voting, meaning a candidate can lose vast parts of a state but if he or she wins some heavily populated areas the delegates involved will come right along.

An aide to the senator told CBS News today they expect to win "a ton" of delegates on Super Tuesday, whatever the outcome in the actually voting. Remember Nevada? Clinton won the caucuses, but there is an argument now over who won the most delegates. Such a scenario could play out elsewhere next week, say the Obama folks.

Still, headlines trumpeting popular vote victories all over the country by Hillary Clinton will not be good for Obama no matter how many delegates he wins. Voters tend to gather behind winners and are less interested in the fog of delegate strategies. If the polls are right, the Obama campaign has some spinning to do.
  • Maria Gavrilovic

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