By Stephon Johnson, Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News –
With their eyes squarely on 2012, President Barack Obama and the Republicans are looking to raise money by any means necessary as they get ready to battle for the White House and other elected offices across the county.
While the Democratic National Committee hasn't released their half-year haul yet-it will come by the end of the week-Obama's camp has said its goal is to raise $60 million between the beginning of April and the end of June.
According to campaign manager Jim Messina, the Obama camp set up a target goal of 450,000 individual donors by the end of June. As of press time, a meter on the campaign website read 495,458 "strong."
"Of course we have a budget and financial goals, but we believe that the true strength of our campaign is in the number of everyday people working on it," said Messina in an email blast to Obama supporters a week ago. "A lot of people out there are wondering whether this campaign can inspire the kind of grassroots support that has been the foundation of our success. A lot of people out there are already saying we can't, so we've got something to prove."
In the second quarter of 2003, then-President George W. Bush raised $35 million. Dubya's total fundraising numbers from that year were $132.5 million. Various political prognosticators expect Obama to surpass that number by the end of this year.
"If you're planning on donating to this campaign at any point in the next 16 months...do it now," wrote Messina.
On the Republican front, reports have former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney slated to raise close to $20 million for his run at the GOP nomination for president. No official numbers have been released by Romney's camp.
An official from the Republican Governors Association told the website Politico that the organization had raised $22.1 million for the first six months of the year, eclipsing GOP six-month totals from 2007 to 2009 and helping the GOP erase its debts from the 2010 election. GOP-affiliated governors now have a $16.2 million stash to work with.
"Republican governors across the country are promoting job creation initiatives, balancing budgets, reforming education and leading with a focus on the next generation," said Phil Cox, executive director of the RGA, in a statement. "Because of their leadership and our reputation as an effective, well-managed committee, our financial supporters continue to view RGA as a smart investment in our nation's future."
Cox started running the RGA this year.