Tales from the Trail

Obama campaign reaches out in hard-fought states

By Reuters Staff
December 20, 2011

By Eric Johnson

CHICAGO – U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, which has already proven its fund-raising prowess on its own behalf, is sharing the wealth. The campaign launched a joint fundraising committee to benefit the Democratic Party in the all-important “swing states,” where voting is expected to be close next year, and costs are expected to be high.

The new “Swing State Victory Fund” is the campaign’s second joint account, according to the Federal Election Commission. The fund will help the campaign and state parties in battleground states to fill their coffers as they push to elect. The states connected with the joint account are: Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

An individual could contribute a maximum of $10,000 to each state party per calendar year, in addition to the $2,500 maximum that can be donated to a candidate during the primary and the general election seasons, respectively, according to the FEC.

“It benefits state parties that will support the president and Democrats on the ticket,” a campaign official said in an emailed statement.

Obama campaign fundraisers so far this election cycle have benefited the Obama Victory Fund, a separate joint fundraising account shared by the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Together, they have raised more than $150 million, far outstripping the Republicans vying for the nomination to run against Obama as he seeks re-election next year.

The Obama Victory Fund can already dole out money to state parties, but contributors to the Swing State Victory Fund will know their dollars will benefit the specified states who share the joint account. “This committee collects contributions, pays fundraising expenses and disburses net proceeds for two or more political committees/organizations, at least one of which is an authorized committee of a federal candidate,” according to the FEC filing prepared by the campaign.

Obama raised a record $750 million when he won the White House in 2008, and speculation is rife that he could hit the $1 billion fund-raising mark this time around.

Photo credit: A girl perched upon someone’s shoulders takes a photo of U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign fund raiser in New York City November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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