Obama’s nearly-record-breaking June fundraising haul -- $52 million! -- ought to change the media narrative for the next few days. The campaign claims an average donation of $68. Assuming those numbers hold up when we get the full FEC reports, they support Obama's justification of his decision to back out of public financing -- that he won’t be beholden to wealthy interests if most of his money is coming in small chunks from regular folks.

We’ll see if that turns out to be true. But most impressive is the fact that this was done in June; fundraisers will tell you that the summer months are the most difficult time to raise money (primary’s over, the general hasn’t started to really heat up, people are going on vacation, etc.) although, given the amount of media coverage of this, er, amazing race has generated, perhaps that dynamic doesn’t apply.

John McCain and the RNC still have a good $28 million $1 million more cash-on-hand, but that’s in part because Obama has been up on TV more and has been opening field offices and hiring workers everywhere he can -- 20 offices in Virginia, 150 paid organizers in Missouri. Some political operatives I’ve spoken to who aren’t involved in the campaign were worried that this was a bit of an overreach (especially given his lower fundraising in the last few months) but early investment can’t be beat if you can keep up this kind of fundraising pace.

UPDATE: As StevenAttewell points out, the difference in funds between the two candidates and their respective parties is relatively small. Unfortunately, I wrote this post before the DNC announced its fundraising results.

—Tim Fernholz

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