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Obama slams Republicans in West Coast money swing

Sep 25, 2011, 9:24 p.m.
U.S. President Barack Obama waves to supporters at a Democratic party fundraiser in Seattle, Washington, September 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

MONEY ROLLING IN

Obama's approval ratings have been hurt by worry over the stubbornly high U.S. unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, and fears the country could face another recession. His numbers have even sagged in California, which went for him heavily in the 2008 election.

So far, that has not dented Obama's ability to raise amounts that dwarf the fundraising of his Republican foes at this point in the election race.

Obama chalked up $86 million in the second quarter on behalf of his own campaign and for the Democratic Party.

That was nearly five times as much as Mitt Romney, the top Republican fundraiser. Romney and Perry are the front-runners in the race for their party's 2012 presidential nomination.

Campaigns do not have to release third-quarter fundraising totals until October 15, but the president's campaign team has announced a more modest third-quarter goal of $55 million.

The lower amount partly reflects the impact of Obama being grounded in Washington during July by budget battles, limiting his ability to get out and raise money.

It could also show the pinch of the tough economy over the summer, as stocks slumped out of fear the government would fail to raise the U.S. debt limit and default on its obligations.

On Monday, Obama will sample Hollywood glamour at two events in Los Angeles, which feted him during his 2008 run, although some celebrities have voiced frustration his presidency has not lived up to their expectations.

Fundraising in California makes sense for the president, who raised $78 million in the state for his 2008 campaign -- 10 percent of all donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington and Nicole Neroulias in Seattle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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