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For Fundraising, Obama Relies Even More on Wall Street

President Barack Obama makes a statement on his birth certificate at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2011.
Jewel Samad |AFP | Getty Images
President Barack Obama makes a statement on his birth certificate at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2011.

Does Wall street have a problem with President Barack Obama?

Not so you'd notice where it counts—in his reelection effort.

Plenty of high visibility figures have complained about Obama on everything from Wall Street reform to potential tax increases to his anti-fat cat rhetoric.

But a new study by the Center for Responsive politics out Friday morning shows that Obama is relying more on Wall Street to fund his re-election this year than he did in 2008.

A copy of the study was obtained in advance by CNBC.

In fact, the Center found that one-third of the money Obama's elite fund-raising corps has raised on behalf of his re-election has come from the financial sector.

"Individuals who work in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are responsible for raising at least $11.3 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee," the Center reported.

All of Obama's bundlers have raised a minimum of $34.95 million.

A "bundler" is a person tasked by the campaign with rounding up contributions from people in his or her business and personal network.

Obama and the DNC combined are on pace to blow away the amounts Obama raised from Wall Street donors in 2008. At the current pace, Obama and the DNC will far surpass his 2008 Wall Street fund-raising numbers both in raw dollar amounts and as a percentage of what he raises overall.

During his 2008 presidential bid, bundlers who worked in the finance, insurance and real estate sector were responsible for a minimum of $16 million, according to the Center's research. That's about 21 percent of the $76.5 million estimated minimum amount that these top fund-raisers brought in for Obama's presidential campaign.

That's a reflection of the power of the presidency and an incumbent who many on Wall Street think has better than even odds of being reelected.

The comparison with 2008 is not exactly apples to apples, however, because the Obama campaign disclosed combined figures for Obama and the DNC figure this year, while the '08 numbers were just for Obama, because he didn't control the DNC at that time. Now he does.

The Center also cautioned that an exact dollar amount for how much cash these individuals raised ahead of the 2008 election or during the past few months is not known because the Obama campaign provided only broad ranges of how much money each bundler collected.

A precise figure, however, is known for how much the Obama campaign and the DNC raised during the second quarter of the year: $86 million. Thus, the Center concludes that at least $1 out of every $8 that the DNC and Obama campaign raised came thanks to a bundler connected to the finance, insurance and real estate industry.

What's more, the Center has identified 80 bundlers—out of 244 whose names were released by the Obama campaign last week—who are part of the financial sector. Forty-four specifically work for the securities and investment industry.

Even when Obama is receiving criticism from some quarters on Wall Street, he's adding new Wall Street bundlers who did not work for him in 2008. Four of them are: former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, Evercore Partners executive Charles Myers, Greenstreet Real Estate Partners CEO Steven Green and Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JPMorgan.

The other five finance-related top tier-Obama bundlers, who are bundling for him again this campaign, are:

  • Mark and Nancy Gilbert, of Barclays
  • Blair Effron, of Centerview Partners
  • Kirk Rudy, of Endeavor Real Estate
  • Orin Kramer, of Boston Provident
  • John Emerson, of Capital Group Companies

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