Obama campaign raised $52 million in June

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WASHINGTON Democrat Barack Obama raised $52 million last month, boosting his presidential campaign’s fundraising while building up his financial cache for the fall campaign.

WASHINGTON     Democrat Barack Obama raised $52 million last month, boosting his presidential campaign’s fundraising while building up his financial cache for the fall campaign. The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended June with a combined total of $92.3 million in the bank. The figure represents a notable fundraising jump, especially for the DNC. Obama reported $72 million cash on hand and the DNC $20.3 million. But the Democrats still lag Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign and the Republican Party. Last week, McCain reported raising more than $22 million in June, which was his best month of the year.

Together, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee began July with about $95 million in the bank. The $52 million is Obama’s second best fundraising month of the year—he raised $55 million in February. But the figure combines cash that can be spent in the remaining summer primary season, as well as money that can only be spent in the fall. In earlier months, Obama was raising money almost exclusively for the primary. That means Obama, who has been maintaining a vigorous fundraising pace in the summer, can now raise money for the general election from donors who had already given the $2,300 limit for his primary race. Unlike McCain, Obama has chosen to bypass the presidential public financing system for the fall campaign, which would have provided him with $84 million but would have prevented him from raising private money. McCain has agreed to accept the public money, which puts a greater emphasis on party fundraising. The DNC said it raised $22.4 million in June, a dramatic increase from the $4.7 million it raised in May. The spike in fundraising came after Obama and the DNC formed a joint fundraising effort. Donors can give a maximum contribution to the party of $28,500. The DNC still fell short of its Republican counterpart, which raised $26 million in June. With the substantial help of their respective parties, each campaign is looking to raise more than $400 million during the five months preceding the November election. McCain, aided by a large cash on hand surplus at the RNC, is off to a head start and has been outspending Obama in advertising. McCain has concentrated his advertising in about 11 battleground states. Obama has been spending less but has broadened the field to about 18 states. AP

______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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