Obama’s monthly figure pushed his total fundraising to $605 million. No presidential candidate has ever run such an expensive campaign. His campaign raised $65 million in August, his previous best.
Obama had initially promised to accept public financing if McCain did, but changed his mind after setting primary fundraising records. His extraordinary fundraising is bound to set a new standard in politics that could doom the taxpayer-paid system. Many Republicans have begun to second-guess McCain’s decision to participate in the program.
With his money, and a favorable political wind at his back, Obama has secured his foothold in states that have voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the past. But he has also been able to expand the contest to reliably Republican states, forcing McCain and the Republican Party to spend their money defensively.
As much as Obama raised, he needed a big fundraising month to justify his decision to bypass the public finance system. Financially, he has been competing not only against McCain, but against the GOP, which raised $66 million in September.
This is an election issue, not necessarily liberal or conservative.