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. chuck

    President Elect Obama is no turkey like Sarah Palin and the Republicans Kunckleheads.This is a TRUE KNOWLEDGEABLE LEADER WITH REAL CHANGE.

    December 5, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. calynn

    Obama needs to be held accountable for the millions of foreign & very questionable donations he accepted. He also needs to prove to the American people he is legally able to be POTUS. Mr. Obama: SHOW YOUR VAULT BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!

    December 5, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Jennifer

    Obama is a genius. He in no way avoided any laws (DAVID). He was intelligent enough to realize that he was going to need more than $80 billion to counter all of the attacks on him by the Republican Party.

    December 5, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Debbie

    I'm very proud to have given a donation to this campaign. President Elect Obama will make us all proud to be an American! The USA will be number one again.

    December 5, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Joyce in Indiana

    Monies that were donated to the President-elect's campaign may not, by law, be used for any other purpose, including the transition, inaugural parties, and retiring Senator Clinton's campaign debt.

    BTW, he did not "get around" the law. Because he opted out of federal campaign financing, he was not bound by the particular part of the law that requires disclosure. I understand the frustration of his opponents' supporters, but he did nothing illegal. If you don't like the way the law is written, then lobby to get it changed.

    December 5, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. charlie in maine

    Average donation $80. This was in fact what the "public financing' folks had in mind. I have to admit that this was better accoplished through the private sector than throught the tax form check-off. I am hapily surprised that he was able to get so many to contribute (my-self included).

    This truley shal be an administration "of the people,by the people and for the people"

    It is about time..............

    December 5, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. brook, from nashville

    When Sarah said he palled around terrorists, i got so offended and i donated $303 for Obama campaign, the money that i saved to pay for my car note.

    December 5, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Eddie

    See i Knew It Barack H. Obama Can bring change to America he is the chosen one.

    December 5, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Larry in Texas

    This goes to show you that IF you don't have at least a Trillion,
    or IF there isn't anywhere you can get it, the bottom line is :
    "Don't Run" (you will never make it)
    Plain & Simple...

    Larry C.

    December 5, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. AJ

    I hope an investigation is conducted to make sure all of those donations were legit.

    December 5, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Larry in Texas

    This goes to show you that IF you don't have at least a BILLION,
    or IF there isn't anywhere you can get it, the bottom line is :
    "Don't Run" (you will never make it)
    Plain & Simple…

    Larry C.

    December 5, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. juan bobo

    Funny that the GOP ridiculed his background as a community organizer. I guess that was a good skill set to have after all considering that he organized a campaign that broke fund raising records and crushed the competition.

    December 5, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Alex

    So show me a link to the pledge Obama signed with his signature on it Mike. Have you seen one?

    December 5, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Jim in Florida

    EW is wrong.

    By NOT taking Public financing like he promised he would do, Obama doesn't have to report the identity of donations under $200.

    The campaign website's donation apparatus did and does not match credit card names to addresses.

    So, anyone, say, in Kenya, Chnia, or wherever, could sit on the Internet with a prepaid credit card and click $200 donations all day.

    I suspect some did.

    The Obama campaign wants you to believe that $750 million dollars was raised in the middle of the biggest economic crisis , in Obama's own words, "since the great depression", by mom and pop intenet donations from across the country.

    The fact is we will never know where the money actually came from and certainly the Obama campaign isn't going to tell us.

    I am not drinking this kool aid.

    Perhaps some pointy headed liberal will write a book "The Purchase of the Presidency in 2008"

    That is what happened America. With enough money you can easily indoctrinate some of our less brainy American citizens into believeing anything....

    Change you can be brainwashed into believing.

    December 5, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Robert in Atlanta

    For the first time in my life I feel like the person in the White House will speak for me. And to all the unhappy right-wingers: I am proud that my money was used to counteract your slime machine. You better get used to a new reality.

    December 5, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. onelove


    President Elect Barack Obama did not sign anything. Do you realize if he had signed any document stating he would accept the funding he wouldn't be able to back out of it.

    Please, get your facts correct before posting.


    December 5, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. michael

    ok so the press had a field day with Palin and her wardrobe and nobody cares how they spent 700 million ...what a joke and double standard. We are in a recession and he spent 5 million on an election night party???Give me a break

    December 5, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. daniel

    One worthy man in American Politics in recent years. Amazing strategy planner and hope with his similar attitude he will take us out of this financial chaos the current president created. I hope and want to see my country strong, proud, rich,sound and fair as always.

    December 5, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Candia

    Obama didn't pledge, much less sign a binding document to opt out of public financing. He merely discussed it as an option which he decided in the end to forego. And if you look at it – all those millions of individual donors, what are they if not the public?

    December 5, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. TM in CO

    So if all his debt is paid off from the campaign, he should donate it to the american population that became unemployeed over the last 12 months. They sure could use a helping hand.

    December 5, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Dood

    Obama bought the White House.

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

    December 5, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Shelagh from Ohio

    It was a very large number of small donors who pitched into Obama's campaign–so yes, I suppose you could say it was "bought"–by the vast majority of American people who have been voiceless, powerless, and financially disadvantaged for way too long. About time, I'd say!

    December 5, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Rob

    Congrats Mr. Obama. I am eager for the 20th of January. GOBAMA!

    December 5, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Maggie SC

    Just want to clarify that the following I had included in my previous commetns and pasting them again her was stated by Angie and not me:
    Angie December 4th, 2008 9:50 pm ET
    I've been a Baptist Christian all my life and I must say……..these holier-than-thou, hypocritical, right-wing, nutballs are what's wrong with this country. NO ONE knows for certain what the afterlife will bring…it's a BELIEF! We believe in our God, the same way, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. believe in theirs! Oprah not having Palin on her show has NOTHING to do with God! Get over yourselves.
    It is people like this that make others view our country as being rediculous and unstable.

    December 5, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Dood

    And, there still is no indication of where more than half of Obama's donations came from and who donated.

    If a Repub did this, the media would be screaming.

    Doodad Pro, phone home.

    December 5, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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