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Burn Rate: Why is the Obama campaign spending so much money*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - March 15, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In his Wall Street Journal editorial this morning on the president’s failure to reach his fundraising targets, Karl Rove wonders at how fast the Democrat is spending his campaign cash:

The final financial challenge facing Mr. Obama’s campaign is how fast it is burning through the cash it is raising. Compare the 2012 Obama re-election campaign with the 2004 Bush re-election campaign. Mr. Obama’s campaign spent 25% of what it raised in the second quarter of 2011, while Mr. Bush’s campaign spent only 9% in the second quarter of 2003. In the third quarter it was 46% for Obama versus 26% for Bush; for the fourth quarter it was 57% versus 40%. In January 2012 the Obama campaign spent 158% of what it raised, while the Bush campaign spent 60% in January 2004.

At the end of January, Team Obama had $91.7 million in cash in its coffers and those of the DNC. At the same point in 2004, the Bush campaign and Republican National Committee had $122 million in cash combined.

Mr. Obama lacks serious opposition in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.  A campaign spending 158% of what it raised ten full months before the election.

Seems his campaign team spends the money it raises the same way his governing team spends the money the federal government collects  — and intends to collect from future generations.

*so early in the game.



  1. Do you think he will demand more money from his $$$$ donors? Demand that they give him his fair share of their 1%? What do you bet he sends out more of those “hey folks, let’s show those mean republicans! Just send $5!”. I’m fairly sure he’ll take money out of the mouths of babies if it will get him reelected! Cuz those 99% “folks” sure don’t have 2 nickles to spare.

    Comment by JustShootMeNow — March 15, 2012 @ 7:38 pm - March 15, 2012

  2. Hi Dan,
    I think Obama is using money to set up very solid organized teams in each of the 50 states. Also on advertising to set up Romney and build up questions and negative perceptions about him (helped in large measure by the candidate and his challengers). I think it shows that Obama is planning to scorch earth the eventual GOP candidate, and have a very good ground game. I think that is what I take from it…

    Comment by Cas — March 15, 2012 @ 7:57 pm - March 15, 2012

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