WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama pulled in $29.1 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic Party in January, raising his total for this election cycle to about $250 million.
The sum, announced Friday, shows that he's picked up the pace from his $23-million-a-month average of the final three months of last year.
According to financial reports and Obama campaign officials, the Obama Victory Fund, a joint venture of his campaign and the Democratic National Committee, raised $13.4 million. Separately, the Obama campaign raised $9.3 million, the DNC $6.1 million and an Obama swing state fund $384,000.
That fundraising concluded before the campaign's announcement this month that, in a reversal, Obama will embrace the big-money fundraising groups he once criticized and let them help in his re-election. Those so-called super PACs, financed with large donations from a small group of individuals, have been prominent in the Republican primary and are poised to spend millions in the general election contest.
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The Obama campaign said 98 percent of January donations were $250 or less. Federal Election Commission filings show that Obama's campaign alone pulled in more than $5 million in unitemized contributions, usually less than $200 apiece.
Many of those donors, however, are repeat contributors, meaning that their aggregate donations over the past year would exceed $250. Still, the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, which analyzes contributions, found that small donors -- whose aggregate contributions amounted to less than $200 -- accounted tfor 48 percent of Obama's campaign income in 2011.
In contrast, the institute found that small donors accounted for only 9 percent of the 2011 fundraising for Republican Mitt Romney, who is battling for front-runner status in the GOP primary and is the top fundraiser in that contest.
The January numbers, which candidates must submit by Monday, were being reported as Obama concluded a three-day trip to California and Washington that included eight fundraisers expected to raise $8 million.