December 5th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama's gamble pays off

Obama's campaign brought in nearly $750 million dollars.

Obama's campaign brought in nearly $750 million dollars.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He’s the three-quarters of a billion dollar man.

Barack Obama's presidential campaign hauled in nearly $750 million dollars during this very long and historic campaign for the White House. That's more than twice what his opponent, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, raised and it's more than what George W. Bush and John Kerry combined raked in during the 2004 presidential campaign.

In a report filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday, the Obama campaign reported spending over $100 million during the final few weeks leading up to the November 4 election, far more than McCain.

Obama opted out of taking public funds during the September to November general election period, becoming the first candidate for president to opt out of public financing since the system was created in the 1970s. Obama gambled that he could raise more money than the $84 million McCain received in public funds. That gamble apparently paid off.

Some other numbers: The Obama campaign raised $104 million in the five weeks leading up to and just after Election Day. And as of November 24, the last day included in this report, the Obama campaign had nearly $30 million left in the bank.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • FEC • John Kerry • John McCain • Uncategorized
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Independent supporting Obama

    Hw won the election. HE ROCKS.
    We raised money for him. WE ROCK.

    December 5, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Angela Frazier,Memphis TN

    If money had of been the issue, the Republican nominee would have been Romney rather than McCain....

    December 5, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. WOW

    So THAT'S what it takes to win......I KNEW there was more to this than change.

    Make my Koolaid cherry so I can stomach it.

    December 5, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Alan

    "Obama bought the White House.

    It was always bad when a Repub did it, but when a Dem does it, it is HISTORIC."

    Obama couldn't have purchased a TOOTHBRUSH, since he decided to forego public funding, without MILLIONS of people donating to his election because they WANTED to see him win.

    Republicans have always done it by taking all the money they can from major corporations and - look who gets ALL the help and attention from THEM. Maybe, this time, Obama really will care about the PEOPLE to put him in office.

    You do remember "we, the people," don't you?

    December 5, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Joe

    This was a people's movement, mostly. Millions of small donors put up most of this and millions got involved. A new paradigm.

    December 5, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Nick

    who cares...?

    December 5, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Alan


    The people have spoken. Majority still rules. We realize you hate it when people stop buying your fear-based, ultra-religious babble...but we sent our money to Obama instead of buying into your nonsense.

    If you want to have a party back after this you better start to realize the PEOPLE have had enough of everything Reagan started and change. Not change like McCain tried to fake...REAL change.

    Or go away. It is still a free country.

    December 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Lambert Moore Saint Louis, MO

    Get over it already, President Obama never sign anything that I know of that he would take public financing. The way I remember is that he would sit down and talk with whoever the republican nominee would be and come to a conclusion. This never took place and he decided to opt out of the public financing. He took a gamble at the the time and it work out for him and his camapign. So get over it!
    Same thing with this other mess about his birth certificate. All you people on the right just need to get a life; on January 20th this counrty will finally get some desperate needed leaqdership.
    Because the Busch administration has checked out and he is going around to the news media telling anybody who would listen that he does not accept the responbility for his failures. Belive me we have had complete failure from our governemnt. Over the last 8 years; from 911, Katrina, and now econmy. Just an ultimate failure under the Buch administration.

    December 5, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. B. in Denver

    The ability to effectively use capital to achieve a desired result is a positive quality in a leader in my opinion.

    December 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Alan

    Here's a wake-up call, Republicans:

    A LOT of Obama's money was donated because of Sarah Palin!

    I remember reading all the comments here from people announcing they were INCREASING their donations and adding to them every time she opened her airhead mouth.

    December 5, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Nurul Aman

    This remarkable fundraising model is not only unprecedented in the history of modern democracy, but also reflects the power of the citizens who really cared about the value of President-Elect Obama's strong leadership with his intelligence and eloquence for bringing change to America. I gave monthly contributions between $25 and $50, with a total of over $600 to Obama campaign (I wish I could donate more). This was a symbol of supporting the greater future of this country. The power of the people is the power of democracy. This historic fundraising, with its significant transparency, has brought a clear message that the movement of this election is owned and delivered by the people of America, for the people of America, for bringing a real change to America.

    We are proud of our democracy! We will do again in 2012 and afterwards.

    December 5, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. W O W WO W



    December 5, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Barackus Obamus Magnus

    What is really amazing is that the average campaign contribution to the Obama campaign was only 86$.

    86$!!! If you do a simple standard deviation, you would find that the majority of people didn't give more that 50$.

    LIke George Will said, that, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate expression of the 1st Ammendment. 3 million donors put their money where their mouth, and votes were.

    Even for a liberal, that's pretty amazing.

    December 5, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Phil in KC

    I know there are many who would criticize him for his decision not to take government funds after he said he would. And I, myself, find that a bit troubling. But, in the end, ya plays ta win. And win he did.

    December 5, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Steve Jacksonville, Fl

    Jeez, with all this hoopla you would think he rigged the election through the Supreme Court or something.

    December 5, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. The Dawg

    Interesting how so many of you keep saying that those of us on the right need to "get over it" and "show some respect, he's your President now." No about if we show him the same respect that you showed President Bush? many of you sported bumper stickers (sponsored by saying "He's not my president".

    December 5, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. LS, Austin, Texas

    Obama didn't BUY the election – there were just more smarter people who voted for him. Not like the other guy.

    December 5, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Obama '08, '12

    Public financing at it's best!!!

    This was a candidate that 2 years ago was written off by most pundits, but managed to connect directly to the people refusing funding from lobbyist and PACs and built a stellar campaign.

    Over 1 million individuals donated to this inspiring campaign, and as a first time campaign donor, I am proud to have been one!

    December 5, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. t

    It makes one wonder where the $ came from (especially in this past year's economy) and if the contributions were all legal. It would appear the US presidency was "bought".....and the question becomes by who.......

    December 5, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. America For the Truth


    December 5, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. RJ Bardino

    Hey Alan,

    Put down the crack pipe and check yourself in. Once you've completed the program in 4 years, you will realize electing an amateur like Obama was this countries worst mistake in political history

    December 5, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. conservatve

    The name of the game is buying the Presidency ! And all Americans are losers for this charade !

    December 5, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. SHELLI

    And to think this is a Man that all of the Republicans and the Clintons said was 'JUST A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER" What a Showing and proof positive that if you are a Good person, and believe in God and one that does not try to discredit or defame anyone God will see you through and you will be the VICTOR!


    December 5, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Totally unprecedented!

    December 5, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. Jason

    Not bad for a country in a recession?

    2 things – #1 – are they going to list his donors? That of course meaning the ones that donated using credit cards and not verifying the names?

    #2 – how much of the $750 mill is going to pay off Hillary's mess?

    Kudos to beating the system – now let's see what you can do with the economy (do I hear $1 trillion dollars??) now have no one else to blame.

    December 5, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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