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. LS, Austin, Texas

    I am so relieved Obama is going to be our President. It is nice to know we will have a President in office who is actually an intelligent person. Smart equals good results.

    And it is sure nice to not have to see or hear -you know who- in the media anymore.

    December 5, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. JMac

    I hate the fact that people running for POTUS can take public funds. Why? I don't want my tax dollars going to any candidate running for office, even the person I voted for. Let them raise their own money like Obama did. McCain got $84 million from the tax payers and I am sure Nader got a bunch as well. It's time to end that practice!

    December 5, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Mari

    @ Paige, yes, 'evil jealous people' ...... they are idiots and will fall on their face!

    I believe that President-elect Obama IS brilliant, he knew that he had/has a message that would resonate with America. We are SO sick and tired of the Republican.......lies......hate.....fear ....and.....division! We needed some hope, something to inspire us to believe in the ......basic GOODNESS of America! OBAMA PROVIDED THIS AND HE IS ELECTED!



    December 5, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. An American

    I never got used to Bush's name in my household and I won't get used to Obama's either. You people think you can just "make" everyone want Obama and think he is some kind of God. By the way, if Obama has so much money and is "sitll" asking for more, he should pay off Hillary's debt – after all they are all one democratic party right? Obama also lied to McCain and said he would only accpet public funding and then back off of his agreement, some might call that smart, but others veiw it as being a liar and cannot be trusted.

    December 5, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Iris McCoy

    Obama is a genius and a superior, intelligent leader. I have every confidence that he will do the right thing in every situation that is presented to him as President of the United States. It's pitiful that small minded, racist people have to keep bringing up his race. Yes, he's a black man with a white mother and grand parents. So what, this is the new age, get over it and let's get on to the next level of rebuilding our country for the good of all humanity.

    December 5, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. working mom

    I'm another Obama supporter/donor who agrees that his campaign's continuing requests for donations need to be explained better. If there are unpaid bills in excess of $30 million or if they are saving up for 2012 or whatever, contributors deserve to know.

    December 5, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Jessica

    I ❤ Obama...he's going to make a great president!

    December 5, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Nancy

    I have/had absolutely no problem giving to Obama/Biden, because I truly believe he will have no problem getting this country back on it's feet. I can't believe haters are still swinging on this man's clothes, he is here to stay – so get use to it and give him a chance.

    December 5, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Sean

    It just goes to show you, you CAN buy an election in America....

    December 5, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Nader supporter

    Perhaps Obama should give back his excess cash to those who donated to him who are less well off financially. That'd be appropriate for the current economic times.

    So... had the competition been equal, do you really think Obama would have won? Or would the margin be a little closer.

    December 5, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Apples for sale

    The real question we should be asking has nothing to do with auto companies,Obama,or election money,its where did our $700,000,000 billion,that Paulson and Bernachi stole go?

    December 5, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Peter (CA)

    Keep foaming at the mouth right wingers. Your "arguments" fall as flat as your policies.

    Obama opted out because he knew he was going to need a significant amount more of money to repudiate the right wing slime machine. He was right, not that they didn't try. Actually, not that they don't CONTINUE to try. Especially with the silly birth certificate story.

    December 5, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. JAS

    Obama/Biden you will always have my support.
    Let's roll up our sleeves now, and get the job done.

    December 5, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. ari from virginia

    Brilliant.... A leader should be able to adapt. Good luck to our new president. He not only boosted his campaign but boosted the economy and the great mood of our country if not the rest of the world.
    He has the smarts to lead us out of this mess we are in now.


    December 5, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Daniel

    Obama's campaign (movement) was the best that anyone that ever seen, he had many young smart people working for him. A new generation was awaken, to the young out there, we have the opportunity to write next chapters. This is our time, let's become the change we want to see.

    December 5, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. EW

    David doesn't seem to understand campaign finance rules. If a candidate takes public (read: taxpayers) funding, that is all you get. You can't take donations. Obama refused public funding and therefore has to release donor information to the FEC. This is done to make sure that donations do not exceed limits or come form foreign countries.

    Please, educate yourself before posting.

    December 5, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Proud to have contributed to that effort, and see such a worthy person elected to this nation's highest office. Can't wait 'til Jan. 20!

    December 5, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Ray Fisher

    Maybe Obama can start a soup kitchen in the White House with his campaign money so at least he can feed some folks. It seems obscene to tout his campaign take when so many are suffering!!!

    December 5, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Dakota

    TangoDancer, all unspent funds are going towards his Inauguration Event.

    December 5, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. paul (staunch Moderate)

    TangoDancer December 5th, 2008 9:30 am ET

    "... I'm not offended or irritated since I support the cause, but what is to become of unspent campaign funds that still reside in the Obama bank?"

    The funds still in his account can be kept there for his next political campaign or be donated to a legitimate Non-profit organization.

    December 5, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Cori from Colorado

    That's a lot of money left in the bank. Now that he's accomplished his goals, and there's money left over, please, send me some to pay off school loans and medical bills....I'd like a hand out!

    December 5, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Virginia

    Spread the wealth and help out us regular folks.

    December 5, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Jimmy Edu

    It's a history that I find will be difficult to break. Well done Obama/Biden

    December 5, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Tim

    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 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Too bad all that money was based on a lie. Obama had signed a pledge that he would accept public financing if his opponent did. I guess to him, the end justifies the means.

    David: "Obama is a very smart man, he knows how to get around the law."
    Yup, just what we need, a President who knows how to 'get around' the law. That's change alright.

    December 5, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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