The Obama campaign shelled out around $400 million between the beginning of 2011 and June 30 of this year, more than any incumbent in recent history has spent in such a short span, shows a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission records. In June alone, Obama spent a lot more than he raised: $70.8 million. His campaign hopes that dishing out the dollars now will create a "grassroots army," find potential voters, and mobilize volunteers, helping him clinch the election, but some of his supporters are questioning whether his team will regret the choice later.
It seems Obama's campaign is scrambling to find more donors, as evidenced by his increasingly desperate appeals to supporters via campaign emails. Obama and Romney are both set to receive general election money in September, but Romney no longer has to spend cash to outshine his fellow Republican candidates, meaning Obama's financial advantage is gone. As of the beginning of this month, Romney's campaign and the RNC had about $25 million more than Obama. The RNC is betting that Obama's team "will regret squandering so much of their haul early in the cycle on massive monthly overhead," says a spokesperson. But Obama campaign insiders beg to differ, saying that TV ads can be bought at the last minute, but a strong voter base cannot. (Read more 2012 Presidential Candidates stories.)