From most accounting perspectives, the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama is in serious financial trouble, having spent far more money than it raised for the past three months.
Although the campaign raised $49.1 million in July — a slight increase over the previous month — and is matching the President’s record-setting pace from 2008, it continues to outspend the pace of fundraising — shelling out $58.8 million in July and increasingly depleting its cash-on-had. The campaign is carrying ever-increasing debt that is closing in on $3 million.
“The campaign faces mounting debts and cannot continue to spend at a rate that outpaces fundraising,” longtime Democratic operative Arnold Block told Capitol Hill Blue Monday. “The President’s campaign is headed for trouble and may not have the money it needs at crunch time in October.”
Democratic strategists express frustration over the President’s inability to match the record fundraising pace of presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
Obama appears to recognize the dangers. In an email to supporters, he said:
I will be outspent in this election. And we will not win the ad wars on TV and radio – right now, the other side is outspending us on TV by at least 2-to-1 in most battleground states. That’s OK. But only if we’re able to keep the spending gap close enough so that our investments in a truly grassroots campaign pay off.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Romney campaign and its associated groups had at least $60 million more cash on hand — more than $186 million — than Obama organizations.
This is a sharp contrast to 2008 when Obama raised far more campaign cash and outspent challenger John McCain by millions of dollars.
“We’re in trouble,” a senior Democratic strategist confided to Capitol Hill Blue Monday night. “We’ve got to recapture the magic and we could be broke by October.”