- 06 октября 2012, 20:23
President uses Twitter to say monthly total raised by '1,825,813 people' as attempt to contain debate damage goes on
Barack Obama's hopes of re-election were boosted by $181m in September, as supporters contributed to the largest one-month fundraising total of the president's campaign to date.
Obama announced the figure in a tweet on Saturday morning, adding that more than 1.8 million people had donated, many for the first time in this or the last election cycle.
The news comes after a roller-coaster week for the president, who disappointed many with a lacklustre performance in the first presidential debate against Mitt Romney, before Friday brought encouraging news on the jobs front.
The figure for September donations to the Democrats and campaign groups loyal to Obama dwarfed that raised in August, by $67m. The Romney camp has yet to release its fund-raising total for the month.
In his tweet Obama said: "Some amazing news this morning: 1,825,813 people came together to raise $181 million for this campaign in September."
Of those who donated, more than 500,000 were new backers of the president, having not previously contributed to the 2008 or 2012 campaigns.
A breakdown of the figures also showed that 98% of supporters had contributed $250 of less – an indication that Democrats are relying less on one-off big money donations from the super rich than their Republican rivals.
The news comes as a boost to Obama as the election heads into its final month. It is also further indication of a creeping advantage in terms of advertising spend for the president over the coming weeks.
Figures from the Federal Election Commission revealed that in August, Obama pulled ahead in terms of monthly donations, with $114m compared to $111m for Romney. Greater spending earlier in the race has depleted the Republican candidate's war-chest, undermining claims that he had a cash advantage.
But those around Romney are expecting a spike in donations following what has been widely seen as a superior performance in the first presidential debate. Wednesday's head to head, which was broadcast to 67 million people, saw Romney's waning campaign seemingly brought back to life.
A CNN poll of registered voters showed 67% respondents agreeing that the Republican challenger had taken the debate, with just 25% giving it to Obama. The Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, described it as a "game-changing debate". Surveys since the debate suggest that it did result in a bump of support for Romney.
But the bounce may be short-lived. Republicans had only a day to celebrate before economic news allowed Obama to make the running again. Friday's monthly job figures showed that the US had added 114,000 new jobs in September, in line with expectation. But a dramatic upwards revision of the previous month's data, from 96,000 to 142,000 new jobs, saw the headline unemployment rate fall to 7.8%, from 8.1% – the first dip below 8% since Obama took office in January 2009.
Shrugging off the disappointment of the debate, on Friday the president issued a call for Americans to back his re-election bid. The job figures were "a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now", he told supporters while on the stump in Virginia.
Staying with the theme on Saturday, in his weekly radio address, Obama said the nation owed it to those still struggling to find work to back his plan for economic revival.
"We're made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place," he said, in a swipe at the blueprint that has been laid out by Romney and his running-mate, Paul Ryan.
Romney is due to spend much of the weekend in Florida. On Friday evening, he tried to dismiss the positive job figures as he spoke to supporters in the state.
"By any rational measure, it is crystal clear we are in the middle of a jobs crisis," he said, adding: "And from day one of my presidency, I will lead us out of this crisis."