Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Obama Dominates Fundraising in Indiana


Indiana’s Presidential campaign fundraising numbers show the strength of President Barack Obama and his unfettered path to the Democratic nomination in 2012 as Republicans are simply not putting their money where their mouths are yet.

According to the Indianapolis Star and writer Maureen Groppe, President Obama’s fundraising numbers in the Hoosier State have easily outpaced all of his Republican competitors, combined.

The report shows that the President has raised over $154,150 for his campaign. All Republicans in the race thus far have pulled in just over $121,500 with Obama's closest competitor, Mitt Romney, raising a couple dollars over $53,050. These numbers represent those individuals giving more than $201.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone. Obama is an amazing fundraiser, and his most loyal supporters remain extremely loyal. The Star reports that Obama raised $4.35 million in 2008 which is over twice of what John McCain was able to bring in from Hoosiers.

What does all of this mean? I think you can read a few things into the numbers.

Incumbency means a lot. Obama has the mechanisms in place to raise money, and his campaign has an excellent group of staffers dedicated to doing it. His huge campaign war chest will be among the many reasons why a second term remains likely.

There is no Republican front-runner. Though Mitt Romney has raised the most money, I think many Republicans are not comfortable with another middle-of-the-road Republican taking their standard into a national election. It’s why people like Michele Bachmann continue to gain traction, and Herman Cain is still getting attention.

President Obama still shows strength in Indiana. He eeked out a victory in 2008, and Indiana will be extremely tough in 2012 for Obama to win again. With that said, I think Obama is going to follow the same strategy that carried him to victory. His chances should not be overlooked anywhere. At the very least, he’s going to make the race extremely expensive for the Republican who rises up to challenge him, and that’s definitely in his favor.

Finally, reading fundraising numbers this early is sometimes a silly exercise. The Republicans do not have a clear candidate yet, and that may be keeping a lot of big money donors out of the fight just yet. Nobody wants to bet on a losing horse. We’ve seen Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Guiliani, and others raise tons of cash only to end up losing the nomination.

Nevertheless, President Obama’s chances in Indiana are, to quote that famous Monty Python movie line, “Not dead yet!”

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