(CNN) – In the wake of his Pennsylvania loss, Barack Obama’s campaign has revealed two major steps towards a general election operation – both usually undertaken by presumptive presidential nominees.
On Friday, the campaign officially announced an ambitious, 50-state voter registration program designed to boost Democratic registration – already reaching record levels in many states – with an eye towards November.
On the conference call discussing the effort, Deputy Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand confirmed a report on The Page that the Obama team had entered into a joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee.
The DNC could use the help. In a year when most Democratic campaign committees are vastly out-raising their Republican counterparts, the DNC – which had a little more than $5 million cash on hand, according to its most recently filed Federal Elections Commission report – is lagging far behind a cash-rich Republican National Committee’s $31 million war chest.
John McCain has launched a similar fundraising partnership with the RNC – but it did not debut until after he became the presumptive GOP nominee.
Hildebrand also said that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had held similar discussions with the national party, although the two sides had yet to come to an agreement.
“It is something that we are moving forward with and as we understand it the D.N.C. has initiated those conversations with the Clinton campaign as well.”
Joint committees are usually formed after there is a de facto nominee. In contrast to the strict fundraising limits imposed on the candidates, parties are able to raise more than 10 times as much – allowing them to assume some election-related activities and costs that would otherwise be undertaken by the campaign.