Whether because of the economy, fighting with Wall Street, or the lack of an exciting primary battle of his own, President Obama's fundraising this election cycle is behind where it was in 2008—$196 million as of the end of the March, down from $235 million in March 2008, reports the New York Times. It blames the falloff on big donors, from major industries to Hollywood stars, failing to keep up with their pace of 2008, meaning the campaign is pushing harder among small, grass-roots supporters.
“They clearly are feeling the pressure,” says one big Obama fundraiser. “They’re behind where they expected to be. You have to factor in $500 million-plus in Republican super PAC money.” The bright side for Democrats: Because of Obama's many joint fundraisers, the Democratic National Committee has raised about $150 million, twice what it had in 2008. And without a primary battle, Obama's election campaign is spending far less than four years ago, leaving it with plenty of money in the bank—$130 million, well ahead of Mitt Romney and the Republicans so far. (Might this be a $2 billion election?)