DUNN, North Carolina (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised more than $150 million for his campaign in September, breaking the record he set the previous month, his campaign said on Sunday.
Obama’s prodigious fundraising has been a key in the race against Republican John McCain, allowing Obama to blanket the air waves with advertisements in the run-up to the November 4 election.
The Obama campaign said it had 632,000 new donors in September to bring its total to 3.1 million. It said the average donation for the month was less than $100.
With over $150 million in September, Obama more than doubled the $66 million he brought in for August, which had been a record.
Unlike McCain, Obama, an Illinois senator, chose not to accept public funding for his campaign, freeing him to raise millions privately.
Obama’s campaign has purchased a half-hour television slot at prime-time on October 29, six days before the election, to make a closing argument to the American people.
McCain, because he accepted public financing, is limited to spending $84 million in his campaign. The Arizona senator again chided Obama for not living up to his pledge to accept public funds and warned of the damages of unlimited spending.
“I‘m saying that history shows us where unlimited amounts of money are in political campaigns, it leads to scandal,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
When asked whether Obama was buying the election as his campaign spokesman claimed, McCain said, “I think you could make that argument.”
Obama, who was in North Carolina on Sunday to appear at a “Change We Need” rally, has shattered all records for campaign fundraising, in part due to his Internet presence.
Big donors also have been an important source of cash for his campaign. Last week, he spoke at a large fundraiser in New York that featured performances by rock legends Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.
Obama raked in $9 million last month at a pair of glitzy Hollywood fundraisers for him and the Democratic Party, including one where singer-actress Barbra Streisand performed.
Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by John O'Callaghan