President Obama raises $43.6 million in April, targets North Carolina and Arizona

President Obama and affiliated Democratic committees raised $43.6 million in April, his campaign announced Wednesday.

Continuing its habit of releasing early fund-raising figures on Twitter, the Obama campaign reported 169,500 first-time donors, roughly 40 percent of the monthly total. The campaign sought to highlight the modesty of most contributions, saying the average was $50.23 and that 98 percent were less than $250.

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“That makes our campaign different,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a Web video accompanying the release. “And it’s how we’re going to build a winning organization across the country.”

The fund-raising total represented a slight decrease from the $53 million collected in March. The money will be shared between the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Besides the financial information, the most notable announcement from the campaign was that in April it hired 22 new staff members in North Carolina and registered 15,000 voters in that state. The effort seemed to contradict the notion that Obama has written off North Carolina, a state he won narrowly in 2008. The president endorsed same-sex marriage last week, a day after voters there overwhelmingly approved a ban on gay marriage.

Messina said the campaign opened new field offices in swing states: six in Ohio, five in Florida, four in Virginia and one in both New Mexico and Nevada. He said the campaign is even targeting Arizona, which is not generally considered a swing state.

“We need new ways to put every state into play, and that’s why we hired new staff in Arizona this April,” Messina said. “It wasn’t a swing state last time around, but if we can help register the hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who missed out in 2008, we can put it on the table this November.”

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