Obama, Dems raise $43.6 million in April

President Obama raised $43.6 million for the Democratic Party and his reelection campaign in April.

The total is down from $53 million in March, although May is lining up to be a strong fundraising month for the campaign, thanks in part to the president’s recent endorsement of gay marriage.

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Last week, Obama raked in $15 million at a fundraiser hosted by actor George Clooney, and in June, the president will return to Los Angeles for an LGBT gala and a separate fundraiser hosted by Ryan Murphy, co-creator of the show "Glee," and his fiancé, David Miller. Obama hopes to pull in another $10 million from the two events.

Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, unveiled the April figures through a Web video in the campaign’s continued effort to appeal to small and first-time donors.

Messina said there were 169,500 first-time donors in April, bringing the campaign to nearly 2 million individual donors in this campaign cycle. He said 98 percent of the donors gave $250 or less, with the average donation coming in at just above $50.

“That makes our campaign different and it’s how we’re going to build a winning organization across the country,” Messina said.

The Obama campaign is making a concerted effort to boost the number of small donations, as its affiliated super-PACs have not been able to compete with the big donations from wealthy individuals contributing to super-PAC’s affiliated with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Messina tried to drive this point home in the ad, citing what he said was $10 million in negative advertising in April from super-PACs affiliated with billionaire oil investors Charles and David Koch and other outside groups that back Romney.

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