Published by the Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2012
It’s a good bet that there was an air of smug satisfaction in President Barack Obama’s Chicago headquarters last month when both sides in the White House race posted their end-of-April cash-on-hand numbers.
Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee had a combined $139 million in the bank while the newly minted presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, and the Republican National Committee had a total of $44 million. And $35 million of that was the RNC’s. Mr. Romney’s coffers were nearly bare.
Fast forward to June 7. The Obama campaign announced the combined Democratic effort had taken in $60 million in May, primarily from an extensive schedule of presidential fundraisers (including $15 million from a dinner at actor George Clooney’s).
That afternoon, Team Obama received an unwelcome surprise when the Romney campaign and RNC announced they raised a combined $76 million during May.
Once Mr. Romney became the GOP nominee, the Obama high command should have expected to be outraised for a month or two. That happens virtually every time after a challenger secures his party’s nomination. For example, Sen. John Kerry outraised President George W. Bush from March to June 2004.