Obama Endorsement of Gay Marriage Prompted Campaign Cash Wave

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Two men with their marriage license after their wedding ceremony at the Manhattan City Clerk's office in New York.

Money poured into President Barack Obama’s campaign coffers as he announced his support for gay marriage, making May 9 one of the top fundraising days of his re-election effort.

New Federal Election Commission reports show his campaign collected $1.8 million, more than six times as much it did the previous day. The money infusion continued May 10, with another $1.6 million raised, though that coincided with an Obama fundraiser at actor George Clooney’s Los Angeles house.

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an ABC News interview, portions of which first aired May 9 and was broadcast again May 10. Throughout his first term, he’d said his views on the issue were “evolving.”

Some donors had predicted such a political cash windfall from elated gay-rights supporters. And his campaign quickly dispatched an e-mailed fundraising push tied to the issue.

Juan Ahonen-Jover said he and his partner Ken Ahonen-Jover made a $10,000 donation, the maximum allowed, within 30 minutes of the initial televised interview.

“People like us will donate immediately,” Juan Ahonen-Jover said. “This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.”

Republican challenger Mitt Romney saw no discernible fundraising impact from the president’s gay-marriage endorsement. His most lucrative two days of the month were May 7, when he raised $1.8 million, and May 21, when he pulled in $1.9 million.

On May 9, the Romney campaign reported raising about $510,000.

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