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Obama Visits LA to Bolster Hollywood Support and Bring in Campaign Cash

President Barack Obama
Cory Ryan/Getty Images

The number of entertainment industry givers has dropped off dramatically from 2008, as enthusiasm for Obama has cooled in Hollywood.

As President Barack Obama rolls into Holmby Hills today to raise money for his reelection campaign, he has a long way to go to match the amount of cash he collected from the entertainment industry in 2008.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Obama raised $9.2 million in the entertainment industry for his campaign during the 2008 campaign cycle. With campaign limits set at $5,000 per person for the primary and general election, that means at least 1,840 people in Hollywood donated to his election coffers during the  2008 election cycle.

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During 2011, he raised $1.19 million, with at least 238 Hollywood people donating to the campaign. That's a steep drop from 2007, when Obama raised $2.8 million for his campaign in the entertainment industry, the Center for Responsive Politics told The Hollywood Reporter.

Bottom line: Obama's Hollywood fundraisers will have to motivate hundreds of people in the entertainment industry to donate if they want to match the level of enthusiastic giving four years ago. Instead they've been relying on a small group of top tier donors to also give to the Democratic National Committee, where contributors are allowed to donate $30,800 per year.

At this point in the 2008 race, Obama was in a tough battle against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. His people didn't start raising significant amounts of money for the DNC until he had a lock on the nomination. By the end of the cycle, the entertainment industry had given $7.37 million to the DNC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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In 2011, Obama's bundlers brought in $3.5 million for the DNC. (That comes out to about 114 people writing big checks.) Even though they got an early start in the fundraising cycle, they still have much work ahead to get Hollywood's biggest donors to give more.

Obama will be in Holmby Hills this afternoon for a concert, featuring the Foo Fighters, at Soap Opera magnate Bradley and Colleen Bell's house. With tickets starting at $250 per person, about 1000 people are expected to attend that event. The event will be followed by a dinner of about 80 people, including actor Will Ferrell. Tickets are priced at $35,800 per person, with $5,000 going directly into Obama's campaign and $30,800 going to the DNC.