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Obama campaign, Democrats raise $29.1 million in January

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic Party fundraiser in San Francisco
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic Party fundraiser in San Francisco

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and its Democratic allies raised a combined $29.1 million in January, accelerating the fundraising pace as the White House race draws closer.

The Obama campaign said 98 percent of its donations were $250 or less, signaling strength from core, small-time donors that his re-election team prizes.

Obama and Democrats supporting him raised more than $68 million in the final three months of last year, pushing the shared fundraising by his campaign and the Democratic National Committee to over $200 million for 2011.

A campaign spokesman said the January total included donations to the campaign, the DNC, and the joint fundraising committees, one shared with the DNC and the other with the state Democratic parties of several battleground states.

Federal Election Commission filings showed the campaign took in $11.84 million, including a $2.5 million transfer from the Obama Victory Fund, the joint fundraising group with the DNC.

The campaign reported roughly $76 million in cash on hand and debts of about $1 million for the period.

Despite the campaign's fundraising muscle, Obama officials have expressed concern about being outspent by Republicans in the 2012 election because of the influx of money to so-called Super PACS supporting Republican candidates.

Obama gave his blessing a few weeks ago to have White House and campaign officials appear at events for the Super PAC supporting his campaign, which was struggling to keep up with Republican counterparts. Those figures are not included in the campaign's fundraising totals.

Super PACs are political groups that can swiftly raise and spend unlimited amounts of money and influence a campaign by flooding the airwaves with political ads.

Obama is in the middle of a fundraising swing this week on the West Coast. He was expected to raise about $8 million at events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

(Additional reporting by Alex Cohen; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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