December 5th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
5 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. Olivia

    There need to be an investigation into how much and how the money was actually raised. There are a lot of suspicion and questions floating around about this.

    New campaign funding rules are needed after seeing the difference the limits placed on McCain made. It was painful for me to see how muchmoney was wasted on ads etc. It was over the top!!!

    December 5, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. J Chung

    Tim, from MN:

    Yeah, thats what happens when republicans rule for 8 years with Bush. Republican's ideology of reregulation paid fat cats billions of dollar off of their manipulation on the market and now people are seeking government's help and seeking government to do something about it . Figure it out stupid, people dont want you're republican belief to control our failed economy.

    December 5, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. murray

    I understand Obama has quite a bit of $ left over from his campaign. Where does this excess go? Does it have go to the DNC? Can it go to helping the economy in some way? Add to the unfortunate "bail out" fund?

    December 5, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Jaye

    He did the right thing in allowing normal folks to contribute to his campaign (and I could care less what Campbell Brown thinks)...he let us be a part of his history making nomination and I'm proud to be a supporter.

    December 5, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Nelson, MN

    The country was hungry for change. So we gave our change to a man who knew how to use it. He gambled, but we didn't–we made the right choice.

    The country and the world are better for it. Now if we could just speed up the clock and get GW out, we'd be in better shape.

    December 5, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    i seee. money in the bank

    December 5, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. mike in ohio

    To: Sean December 5th, 2008 11:19 am ET

    How do you buy an election? I voted and I didn't get a dime for my vote... how much did you get for your vote? I can careless how much money is raised or used ... you make the final decision when you step into that voting booth... and I know I didn’t any money on the voting table saying if you select me a $5 dollar bill will dispense from the bottom... Now I have heard and seen an election being stolen by not counting votes or losing them but buy an election.... this is 2008 not the Mob years...

    December 5, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We the people helped raise the campaign funds for Obama and because of that we will support him during the financial crisis. We like Obama believe in John F, Kennedy's quote "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country".

    December 5, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Sherrol in Canada

    My goodness people, get real and sensible and see things the way they are......................

    - Barack Obama opted to go after private funds – didn't break any laws
    - He ran the best campaign ever – got young people fired up!!
    - More than likely let over funds will be spent on his 2012 campaign
    - He was born in the USA
    - He won the election beacuse he was the BEST candidate
    - He is not a hate-monger nor is he a moron
    - He is charismatic, inspirational, dynamic.........need I go on?
    - He will work hard for the american people, will please some and disappoint others – such is the life of a politician!!

    December 5, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Grace IL

    Oh, Jim in Florida, get over it already. I am sure if your party could do it, and they did try, then you would be the happiest person on this CNN blog. Sit back relax and enjoy the next 4 years.

    December 5, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. perez

    Get Over It. Geez people.

    December 5, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Sherrol in Canada

    Tom............Businesses/corporations are considered to be part of the private sector.

    December 5, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. John

    I find it funny that "news" authors are STILL talking about this. I find it funnier that they still need to justify that he won the election because he "spent" more money than the other candidate.
    First of all, he never signed anything, and he justified his reasoning for not taking public financing. Second of all, it's no easy accomplishment to raise that much money. Just ask the girl scouts. Third of all, it's hard to keep track of donors when you have that many. But trust me, there's more transparency than you might think.
    Some people just need to accept that MORE people wanted Barrack Obama this year. They were more devoted to his campaign than people were to McCain. That's the final truth.

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

    Thats is why our country is so great. AMERICA

    December 5, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Seth from North America

    For those who think McCain or the RNC was proud and without frustration with the meager $325 million raised compared to Obama, you're kidding yourself.

    To those who are "shocked" or "appauled" by the amount of money spent, you haven't been paying attention for the last fifty years.

    Want to be President? You have to campaign. Want to campaign? You need money. Where do you get the money? From those who have it and are willing to part with it.

    Welcome to the real world. If you don't like it, run for office and change it, then let us all know how the campaign goes.

    December 5, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Business as Usual

    SO YOU BOUGHT THE ELECTION, AND THAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT HOW? WHO WERE YOUR FORGIEN CONTRIBUTORS ANYHOW AFRAID TO SAY HUMMMM.

    BY THE WAY I'M NOT A REPUBLICAN NOR DEMOCRATE ANYMORE I'M WITH THE HONEST PARTY, INDEPENDENTS

    December 5, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Rick

    750 million pieces of evidence of a broken promise. My contributions have gone to a food bank.

    December 5, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Sherrol in Canada

    Dr Mimi De La Cruz – please don't shout.........Thanks much!!

    December 5, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Jim Jones

    Obama's victory still seems a bitter pill for some. Never mind that he ran the better campaign, and most of his money came from individual donors making small contributions. I should know, I was one of those donors; more than once, in fact. Those in denial need to check their kool aid. Consider the choice of Palin; Obama's donations went up in record numbers when the announcement was made. She galvanized the left more than she did the right. It's amazing the difference in appeal between hope vs. fear, vision vs. vagary, reason vs. hate-mongering.

    December 5, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Matt: honestly

    No offense to any of you haters out there, but do you really think if Obama signed a contract stating he would accept public finiancing he would be able to back out of that? He never signed anything! He never met with McCain about it, his advisors did. So that image that McCain put in your head is completely false. I will drink Obama Kool Aid all day long before I swallow a drop of the Republican McCain juice you keep pouring yourself. At least it is a positive message.

    December 5, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Meh

    The reason he opted out of public funds is that he did not want to be beholden to special interest groups. i.e. – the oil companies
    VERY smart move.

    I happily donated to him.

    December 5, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. ObamaLeadership

    For those of you on this blog who have never learned about good sportsmanship...Obama is a true champ...no cheating...no cherry picking...no unlevel playing field. Historic activities are hard to believe aren't they? Be good sports...as we learned in elementary school...accept a genuine defeat...go give an Obama volunteer who knocked on thousands of doors a high five...and get ready to learn the definition of 21st Century Leadership

    December 5, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. fat john

    the Republicans are sooo sad, they just won't concede and try to work with this President. I guess that's what happens when you have been lied to so much and made to live in fear for the past eight years. Seems like they need to be deprogrammed from all of the brainwashing they went through

    December 5, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Generation X

    The ones that are still crying over the election can eat a cookie and go to sleep for the next four years. Im tired of all the crying and grow up.

    December 5, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. ss

    Why isn't Sarah Palin at work? Whose paying her salary?

    December 5, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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