The Washington Times - October 6, 2012, 11:03AM

President Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised $181 million in September from a total of 1.8 million donors — by far the campaign’s biggest monthly haul during the 2012 election cycle.

There have now been more than 10 million donations to the campaign and the party this cycle — “a historic record for grass roots politics,” campaign manager Jim Messina wrote in an email to supporters Saturday.


“Day in and day out, what gives the president confidence and inspiration is knowing that you have his back — that matters,” Mr. Messina wrote. “We’re all going to do the best we can over next 31 days to honor that support.”

More than 567,000 of September donors gave for the first time, which was also the largest monthly figure this cycle. The average donation was $53 and all but 2 percent of the contributions were donations of $250 or less.

The amount blows away the combined haul of $114 million in August, and the news comes at a critical time in Mr. Obama’s bid for re-election.

Though the national unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent for the first time since he’s taken office, new polls have started showing a bounce for GOP nominee Mitt Romney after a presidential debate performance by Mr. Obama on Wednesday widely criticized as listless and uninterested.

The figure was the most lucrative month for any campaign this cycle, but still short of the record total of $193 million for Mr. Obama and the DNC in September 2008.

Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee have yet to report their own September fundraising numbers. Their haul was $111 million in August.

Still, the Romney campaign announced that it has raised $12 million online in the 48 hours after the Republican’s comparatively strong debate performance against Mr. Obama on Wednesday.

The money blast comes as larger-than-usual groups show up to work field offices across the country for the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential bid, and as the campaign has added more than 300,000 new Facebook friends, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The paper also reported the amount is greater than the money raised immediately after Mr. Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hold up the bulk of President Obama’s health care overhaul, and that 60 percent of the money came from first-time donors.