December 5th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
9 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. Two Cents

    TangoDancer – From what I understand the rules allow him to either keep the money for future campaigns, give it back to the donors, give it to the DNC or something else I don't remember. I think he's asking for moew, because the transition process is expected to cost quite a bit and of course, there's HRC who has run a debt. I kinda think donors wouldn't wnat to give to HRC since they DID give it to BHO...but it's still for the purpose of supporting the DNC in the end I guess.

    December 5, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Havoc

    Getting around the law aint breaking it.

    December 5, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Chi

    go obama!!!!

    December 5, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. joe

    2012??? and quite an organizer he is....also showing that he is in charge and feeling good and confident about himself. With the leadership skills, organization skills, fundraising skills and all.....consider 2012 bagged... Anyone else dreaming of the oval office should simply focus on 2016.

    December 5, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Sarah Palin

    Gee golly! thats a lot of monee!

    December 5, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. the kid

    recieving money from foreign governments for the election is not kosher. how ever that is what this guy is all about. he should not be president. maybe it will be a short term president

    December 5, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Kenn J


    the reason Obama can't give much of his $30M to Hillary is campaign laws. Like the rest of us he is limited to $2K max personal contribution, which he has already given.

    As for the remaining, $30M, he needs to keep that for 2012 AND he needs to maintain his existing election machine.

    On NPR this morning, they were saying he earned more $$$ in this election that the DNC and RNC combined. He has redefined election finance, and American Presidential campaigns as well.


    December 5, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Billy D Providence, RI

    I think it is a shame. The presidency is now bought. I am glad Obama won but I think these amounts of money should be outlawed. They should do it like they do in England. A set amount of money each gets and no TV commercials! The money Obama has leftt should be donated to the poor or some other non-profit org.

    December 5, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. JP

    End of term 2012.

    December 5, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Mike Dallas

    Glad to say 2K plus was my money and it was very well spent!!!

    December 5, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Billy D Providence, RI

    To President (Obama/VA)–you wrote "Obama is a household name -get used to it." So is Hitler...... What does this have to do with campaign money...idiot!

    December 5, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. naomi

    way to buy an election! it doesn't help the media was in the tank too

    December 5, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. Robby

    As a gay man, I voted mcCain becuase I believe experience and military service trump idealism and a cult of personality. We have four yrs to see. And as for all the Palin bashing, I thought we on the left (yes I am a registered Democrat) were suppose to be "open minded" and those on the right were narrow minded hate mongers? Seems like both sides are guilty of mud slinging

    December 5, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Mike in Fairfax

    Cool! Maybe he can loan some of that to the automakers so the rest of us don't have to!

    December 5, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |

    Good campaigne, good budgetting ...congratulations Obama ...This was my first time ever that I donated to a presidential best investment ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Pete

    Gamble? You have a funny definition of gamble. Gambling involves risk, Obama took absolutley zero risk when he opted out of public financing, and he also went back on his word.

    Change you can believe in?

    December 5, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Synde75

    Obama's fundraisisng was done through a website that his team knew or should have known could be used for foreign donations or even money laundering. We were promised CHANGE and it looks like we got Clinton's third term. He even kept Gates, the Bush admin. defense head. There have been no new racial minority members added to his cabinet. Even Bush had more Black people and Hispanics. Does Obama know any smart minorities, but himself. His so called CHANGE is very self serving. After 2 decades of a female Secys. of State, it would have been better to have a man, since most of our foreign policy issues are with Muslims and Russians, who do not respect women. By the way, is Obama's female staff still being paid 83 cents on the dollar? Where's the real CHANGE?!

    December 5, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. gt

    why dont they use some of the money to pay some of the unemployed house payments

    December 5, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Common Sense

    Maybe Obama should take the money that has left over or even fund-raise some for the people who need money to just survive....

    i still think he would've won w/o all that money raised... he should've taken the money to help the poor and that would done the same effects of being a responsible presidential candidate then.

    December 5, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. LIP

    So, he essentially outspent McCain by nearly ten to one and for all that money, he only beat him by a few million votes, something like 62,000,000 to 57,000,000. Not much bang for your buck. Had McCain opted out of public money, would he have won? If elections are bought due to TV and mail solicitations, then theoretically, McCain would have won if he had raised and spent only half of what Obama raised and spent.

    December 5, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. gerry

    It's a pittance to pay for getting the country back.

    God bless Barack Obama and his family.

    December 5, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. jeb

    Worth every penny.

    December 5, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Nate

    With that, democracy is dead.
    Since future candidates will have to worry about being out spent, and the taboo has finally been broken, they will also opt out of the public finance system. Money, and the special interests that give the money, will become even more important to the process. Could some please explain how injecting even more money into the election process is a good thing?

    December 5, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Pete

    Obama's decision to opt out of public financing is to "gamble" as same sex unions are to "marriage", an attempt to redefine a word that is already clearly defined.

    December 5, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. OnyxL Liberal


    The reason they are asking his supporters to pay off her debt is because he cant use money that was donated to him by his supporters for Hillary Clinton's debt., its against the law. The law only allows individuals to give a total of $2,300 dollars to a candidate in a election cycle. Therefore, he can only give her 2,300 dollars and then ask his supporters to help as well. Also, the extra money left over from this election cycle can only be used for election purposes. Therefore, it will be saved until he runs for reelection in 2012. This is all dictated by election laws.

    December 5, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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