December 5th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
6 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. Glad some of that money was from me

    Sean, at 11:19am said:

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

    Wrong, Sean. What it goes to show is that ordinary Americans, like me, can have a voice and an influence in an election, and We the People can choose a President worthy of the office.

    December 5, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. TimMN

    It's really sad that our government is so corrupt that an election can be bought and paid for with monies from huge corporations. I honestly don't believe our votes even counted in the last election. How is it possible that 533,000 jobs were desolved in the Month of November , 1.9 MILLION for the year 2008 and the general election generated almost a BILLION dollars? Doesn't anyone see the insanity in this? The worst economy EVER yet in order to get elected all you need is 750 million dollars?

    December 5, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. proudliberal

    if he wants to make hillary sos, then he can pay off her debt, and they can stop asking me to donate more.

    December 5, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Angie

    for all you haters out there. get over yourselves. the repubs have had 8 yrs to jack things up. That is why President elect Obama appealed to so many people. We are tired of the dirty,lying repubs. dumb,dumb bush , crazy cheney and the gang had to go. bush & cheney have stolen plenty from the American people. The money that President elect Obama got, people gave because they chose to.

    December 5, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Blake NY

    I hate when people say the Obama "bought" the election. All of the money was donated to people, including me – that wanted to see change for this country. The fact that Obama raised that much money goes to show how much people wanted to see a new voice in this country.

    For once we have a President that is smart, precise and ready to make decisions that are best for this country. I love when Conservatives say: "Just wait to see what happens to this country now, we're going to be in so much trouble" – are you serious. Do you see where we are NOW!? We're here because of failed policies, and an idiot president ruled by Rove and his idiot conservative base.

    Its our turn. Finally.

    December 5, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. nick

    I am amazed at the stupidy of some of these comments. The man did what he needed to do to win... He won, get over it.. Winning is necessary if you want to be in a position to do what you believe to be the "right thing". YES, he can.....

    December 5, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Independent voter

    It disgusts and sickens me to see so many of the B.O. kool aid drinkers give their money to B.O. instead of giving to a charity and/or those in desperate need.

    You people helped him buy the presidency. How do you sleep at night!!!

    It appears from the comments that many/most of the B.O. followers are low-income or welfare people who expect to get more money from the B.O. government. Get a job! Get a life!

    December 5, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Michael-Ventura,CA

    The PEOPLE got behind this campaign. Many of us gave when we had little or nothing to spare. That's how important it was to us. This is REAL "public financing"- This wasn't lobbyist and oil companies running an election! The PEOPLE elected OUR President.
    The Greedy Oil Party can't seem to deal with it because usually it's them who raise more money.
    They will squeal like pigs undeer a gate, but the fact is- they LOST. I can't wait until 1/20/09!

    December 5, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Simpliticus

    A common man's representative will be in the White House. This is where the money came from. Imagine the extent to overwhelm that coming from corporate interests for the GOP. That paints a picture of desperation to have a non-GOP candidate in the White House, one not answerable to special interests as George W. Bush has been. The W. in Bush's name should stand for Wrench as that being tossed into any working machinery will break the operations therein. Nearly everything George W. Bush has touched has had a dismal effect, including the financial industry, but especially, the armed forces! You can bet with right-wing advocates attempting to call this the Obama Recession is a poor attempt to rewrite the forthcoming history as anybody elses problem but George W, Bush, the man who will be noted as this economy's Hoover!

    December 5, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. bill

    Get over it ..we're long overdue for some commen sense and a little logic in the White House. Obama won because he understands what we need to get back on track..enough of the editorials from the people that got us in this mess and continue to blame everyone but themselves..open your minds and THINK about it ..its not about party lines anymore..its about working together to solve our problems..stop the negative feedback and give this guy a chance...another happy independent..

    December 5, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Tony

    I remember when I used to play little league baseball; the losing team would congratulate the winner. I also remember my coach saying: "Don't be sore losers, we lost because a better team came out to play, and we have no excuses" In fact through out high school and college, coaches seem to say the same thing. In that spirit of sportsmanship, why are people still upset Obama won? Please don't be sore losers.

    December 5, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    IT WASN'T A GAMBLE !!!

    IT WAS A CALCULATED RISK ON

    HIMSELF & THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    December 5, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Tom

    According to an earlier article I read from(CNN) Obama had accepted money from Shell Gas Company, Verizon Wireless, and a few other known companies. Isn't accepting money from corporations different from just private donations?

    December 5, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Bianca

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

    Paul is correct...

    BO cannot use the funds for his inaguaration celebration – actually its specifically against the rules to do so. He also cannot use it to pay off Hillary's debt . He could donate 2K to another campaign, but $2,000 is the limit there.

    He could save it for next time, donate it to charity or back to the dems. He could return it – but how does he decide which donations to return?

    December 5, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Ex-Republican

    It's fun to read all these retards that want a president in office who refuses to ammend plans in the pursuit of a better result.

    The GOP has turned into a bunch of dirt bags stuck in the past who prefer leaders that are stubborn and unable to change to meet the challenges of the future. This whining and crying about Obama making a great decision that turned out to have fantastic results (for him) is more then proof that the current GOP is filled with worthless morons that have nothing but prehistoric idealogies stuffed into their pea sized brains.

    If and when these morons move out and form a party of their own, let's call it the Sadist American DieHards...or SAD for short, then perhaps the GOP will have a chance at surviving. Until then, I'm happy to have moved my affiliation outside their ranks.

    I like leaders that seek strategies with a better chance of success then leaders who refuse to ammend their plans when a better solution is plainly visible to them. Grow up you worthless whiners and do something other then throw a tantrum for a change! The GOP has turned into a SAD and pathetic lot of losers!

    December 5, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Thomas L.

    President Elect- Barack Obama showed astutely his financial smarts from the very beginning as the article points out; there's no doubt that this trend should continue well into his presidential years, with him making the right calls financially where the economy and the American people are concerned.

    I just thank God that we will finally have a President in office who will sincerely put the American people first and put an end to all of the selfishness, corruption and greed that's coming from places like wall street. Obama is in the right place at the right time. What a nice blessing for us!!!!

    December 5, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Matt in Dallas

    I love how CNN doesn't even include the fact that he agreed with McCain to take public funding. Big omission CNN!

    December 5, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Given that the GOP has always enjoyed the edge in raising money due their constituency being better helaed, what does it tell you about the confidence level the rich, GOP had for McCain?!

    December 5, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. BS not Maverick

    I know that is my money, and it was well spent! We know have a competent president Elect that knows the constitution as if he wrote it. Actually I bet you that he could sit down and write it if not most of it by memory! So can Joe Biden!

    December 5, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. kgr

    You know whats funny, all of you people complaining didn't pay a cent to help his post primary campaign. It ISNT YOUR money so DONT COMPLAIN. where as i paid and america paid 84 million to a losing campaign. As for where the money goes, its a shame that that can't be used toward the Inauguration becuase if he has a surplus and the gov't has a deficit, why should the government refuse funds?

    December 5, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    Sounds like he did a pretty smart thing, doesn't it? Now he is using the internet to "cheat" by going directly to the voters to find their opinions on things like health care! Imagine trying to use the peoples preference to set up a program that they will support-unheard of in washington. What kind of radical idea is next?-Actually setting policies that will be workable?-Unheard of in washington! And getting input from not only policy wonks, but real citizens- thats against the politicians best interests! And his cabinet and advisors- the best of the best, and who will be sure enough of themselves to disagreee with him! That might lead to a government that (GASP) might actually be functual enough to work and be successful! Plus, by going to the people, and getting their input, he may force congress to do their job! And he said there would be change in washington- and now he is keeping his word! What is wrong with this guy?? Imagine, keeping his word and making washington function effectively!

    December 5, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Obama Donor

    3.9 million people donated to his campaign. That is the number that is more impressive. I don't think some of you people get it. He made a promise or he didn't make the promise to take public financing is not a real question. Obama's campaign was supported by it's supporters and not taxpayers who may or maynot be for Obama. But that is not even the point. Here is the point I am trying to make.

    He raised $10 millions the day after Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC.
    He raised $10 millions the week afer he lost the Pennsylvania primary.
    He raised $10 millions the week after he lost Taxas and Ohio primary.
    He reaised $151 millions in the month of September after RNC and when John McCain edged up in the head-to-head polls for the first and only time.

    My point is that people donated money when Obama's campaign was most volnerable. They were so enthusiastic about his candidacy and his vision for this country that they reacted to bad news as such. I did the same. Every one of my $25 donation was after a loss in the primary and when he was down in the polls in September and October. As President Elect Obama stated in his victory speech – WE WON THIS ELECTION...

    December 5, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. ROCrizzo

    It is over, you guys can get over it now. This happens every election, of course over time the amounts will continue to rise, and when there is finally an inspirational figure running, people will feel more comfortable donating to a cause. You can come up with all of the attacks that you want, he broke the law, he lied etc., they're wrong. GET OVER IT. You guys had your pick the last eight years and looked what happened. I can't believe you guys voted for that idiot once let alone twice. It's our turn now.

    Obama/Biden

    December 5, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. ben33

    Why would it be a bad thing that Barack Obama spent $5 million on a election night party during a recession? Lack of spending is one of the things that leads to a recession so bravo to him, I wish he had spent 10 million!

    December 5, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Dave in Illinois

    How sys money can't buy you everything?

    December 5, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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