WASHINGTON Democrat Barack Obama raised $52 million last month for his presidential campaign, more than twice as much as Republican rival John McCain in a significant boost to his financial cache for the fall contest.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended June with a combined total of $92.3 million in the bank. The figure represents a notable fund raising jump, especially for the DNC.
Obama reported $72 million cash on hand and the DNC $20.3 million. But the Democrats still lag Republican John McCain's presidential campaign and the Republican Party.
Last week, McCain reported raising more than $22 million in June, which was his best month of the year. Together, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee began July with about $95 million in the bank.
The reason for the discrepancy greater fund raising by Obama and the DNC but less money in the bank than McCain and the GOP is because until now the DNC had spent much of its money, leaving little cash on hand.
The $52 million is Obama's second-best fund raising month of the year he raised $55 million in February. Of his June total, about $50 million was money that can be spent in the remaining summer primary season and about $2 million can only be spent in the fall.
That means Obama has been able to continue to tap new donors and donors who have yet to contribute the $2,300 maximum to the primary portion of his campaign. Altogether, Obama has raised nearly $340 million during his presidential run, $12 million of which is for the general election.
Unlike McCain, Obama has chosen to bypass the presidential public financing system for the fall campaign, which would have provided him with $84 million but would have prevented him from raising private money. McCain has agreed to accept the public money, which puts a greater emphasis on party fund raising.
Obama can roll over unused primary election money into the fall general election contest. By being able to continue to raise primary election dollars, Obama now has a vast network of donors that he can still tap for the general election. Donors are allowed to give up to $2,300 for a primary election and another $2,300 for the general.
The DNC said it raised $22.4 million in June, a dramatic increase from the $4.7 million it raised in May. The spike in fund raising came after Obama and the DNC formed a joint fundraising effort. Donors can give a maximum contribution to the party of $28,500.
The DNC still fell short of its Republican counterpart, which raised $26 million in June.
With the substantial help of their respective parties, each campaign is looking to raise more than $400 million during the five months preceding the November election.
McCain, aided by a large cash on hand surplus at the RNC, is off to a head start and has been outspending Obama in advertising. McCain has concentrated his advertising in about 11 battleground states. Obama has been spending less but has broadened the field to about 18 states.