Obama lost many donors from '08 presidential race

By Jack Gillum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 28 2011 5:31 a.m. MDT

Many Obama supporters said they will vote for his re-election even if they don't write big checks. About 4 out of 5 of those who voted for the president in 2008 say they are likely to do so again, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But Obama's contributions this recent fundraising quarter — absent support from the Democratic National Committee — are less than the combined cash given to all GOP candidates, hinting at an influx of money to whomever Republicans chose as their nominee. Observers have said this election likely will cost more than $1 billion.

The Obama campaign, for its part, said more than a million people have given to the president's 2012 re-election efforts, a mix of hundreds of thousands of new and returning donors that spokesman Ben LaBolt said points to "evidence of a growing organization." All told, Obama received donations from a wide swath of the United States from the Plains, the Midwest and parts of the South since April, the AP's analysis found.

Among those donors was Laurel Cappa of Washington, who gave $300 to the president four years ago and opened her wallet again this year.

"It was a birthday gift to myself," she said, having turned 70 this year, "and I expect to be giving more."

The campaign reports offer a complicated financial picture for Obama this election cycle. Recent reports show a mixed level of financial support from Wall Street, and an AP analysis earlier this month found Obama garnered continued donations from the nation's most economically hard-hit areas.

The campaign figures, however, didn't capture money raised by new, outside groups known as super political action committees, which can collect unlimited amounts of cash to influence elections. Obama and leading GOP candidates all have super PACs working in their favor, not counting groups like the GOP-leaning American Crossroads that have raised hundreds of millions ahead of the general election.

Follow Jack Gillum at http://twitter.com/jackgillum

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