Washington (CNN) – Exceeding the expectations some Democrats had set, the Obama re-election campaign raised $42.8 million in the period running from July through the end of September, an Obama campaign aide told CNN.
Overall, the campaign announced Thursday it and the Democratic National Committee brought in more than $70 million in the third quarter of fundraising.
Some Democratic sources had earlier said they expected the combined total to be $55 million.
The $42 million figure most likely will be close to or exceed the total raised by all of the Republican presidential candidates together for this quarter.
Campaigns have to report their amounts to the Federal Election Commission by Saturday. The Obama campaign and the DNC raised an record breaking $86 million in the last fundraising quarter that ended in June.
During the most recent quarter the Obama team had to deal with questions about whether key constituencies of the Democratic base were fully supporting President Obama, especially after a bruising fight over raising the nation's debt ceiling which resulted in an agreement that angered many in the progressive movement. The weak economy also made it more difficult for all of the campaigns to raise funds during this time.
The president had to cancel several fundraising events to stay in Washington due to the debt ceiling fight.
Obama unveiled his jobs proposal last month and displayed a more aggressive stance toward congressional Republicans - moves that were applauded by many Democratic activists.
"You know why it's important to engage right now. We're up against a Republican Party and special interest-funded groups that will spend hundreds of millions of dollars spreading any message that they believe will defeat the President and roll back our efforts to build a fairer economy that rewards hard work and responsibility, not large corporations," campaign manager Jim Messina said Thursday in an email to supporters announcing the figures.
From July to September the Obama team reported that 606,000 people donated to the campaign - more than in the second fundraising quarter between April and June when it set a record for the number of donors. And it said of the 766,000 donations, 98% were $250 or less – a key figure as it tries to keep attracting the small donors who were a major driver for the 2008 campaign.
"If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: You came through. Thank you," Messina said.
One of the ways the campaign tried to woo small donors was to sponsor a contest with the prize being a dinner with Obama.
Overall, the campaign said since the president announced his re-election bid this spring, almost 983,000 individuals made donations, with 258,000 of them making their first contribution.
"So getting to a million grassroots donors isn't just a huge accomplishment this early in the campaign," Messina said in the release. "It's our answer to our opponents, the press, and anyone who wants to know whether the President's supporters have his back."
The Republican National Committee responded to the new totals by attacking the president over job creation.
"It's no secret President Obama spends a lot of time fundraising and is the most successful fundraiser in history. Obama's problem is he can't replicate that success when it comes to creating jobs," RNC Spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said in an email. "This president is going to need every penny he can raise because voters don't believe he has the ability to turn the economy around or create much-needed jobs."
– CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this story.
– Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN.