- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 14, 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama shattered the fund-raising records his campaign set this spring by raising $66 million in August.

The sum was helped by more than 500,000 new donors, bringing the total number of people giving to the Illinois senator’s White House bid to more than 2.5 million, the campaign said Sunday.

Mr. Obama has more than $77 million on hand to spend before the Nov. 4 election, and he has vastly outraised his Republican rival Sen. John McCain.

Mr. McCain, of Arizona, reported his own fund-raising record of $47 million in August. He has accepted public financing and must limit his spending to $84 million for the final two months of the race.

Mr. Obama is the first major-party nominee in history to opt out of the matching funds system and can spend as much as he pleases. At least $10 million of the Obama sum came after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech as the Republican vice presidential nominee. He had a record month of $55 million during his bruising primary battle against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Team Obama believes it has enough resources to out-organize Mr. McCain and remain competitive on a wide electoral playing field.

“John McCain says that he’ll take on the special interests and lobbyists, but McCain can’t fix a problem he’s been part of for three decades. The 500,000 new donors to the Obama campaign demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to kick the special interests out and change Washington. We are proud of the millions of volunteers and more than 2.5 million donors to the Obama campaign who are contributing to help us deliver the change we need instead of letting John McCain just continue the same failed Bush policies while middle class Americans struggle,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement.

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