How Much Money Will Obama Really Raise?

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The McCain campaign is betting that, in the end, the combined cash on hand tallies of the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign will be roughly equal. Fundraising for McCain is picking up, as campaign manager Rick Davis said on a conference call today: $22 million in June for a cash-on-hand tally of $27 million. With the RNC added in, that's nearly $100 million than McCain can spend (although he can only spend his $27 million through his convention, the RNC can't spend all the money in coordination with McCain, and a few other caveats.)

The Obama campaign won't say how well their opt-out gamble is paying off; there are rumbles that their fundraising hasn't met expectations, but I don't think that's true. Between now and the election, the McCain campaign and the RNC expect to spend about $200 million to elect McCain. That means, in essence, that the Obama campaign is going to have raise at least $75 million per month in order to find themselves with a large enough advantage so as to force the McCain campaign to spend money in states like Georgia and Texas.

Here's a McCain campaign memo on the subject.

"We are proud of the more than 1.7 million contributors to our campaign who are committed to changing Washington and are simply not surprised that John McCain and President Bush have been able to raise millions of dollars for the McCain campaign last month, much of it from Washington lobbyists," says Bill Burton, a McCain spokesman who really needs to send a better picture of himself to Fox News.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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