Counting donations up to and a bit beyond 11/4/08 (Election Day), the presidential campaign of Barack Obama brought in $745M, including over $100M during the final five weeks of the campaign. To put that in perspective, it compares favorably to the 2004 income reported by George W. Bush and John Kerry combined, and with room to spare – Bush and Kerry combined for $653M, and that’s including federal financing. Obama opponent John McCain didn’t bring in half as much, although he enjoyed an edge in support from the RNC, which outraised its rival DNC $322M to $186M.
RBR/TVBR observation: Individual donation limits were intended to prevent millionaires from having an undue influence on elections. Much of Obama’s support, however, came from small donors. It’ll be interesting to see if there is another attempt to “fix” the system, if such a thing is even possible – every time they try it, it seems like a new spending record is set.