WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Wall Street donors, who were vital to Barack Obama's 2008 U.S. presidential bid, may be shying away from him in his re-election effort, observers said.
The president's campaign struggled this week to sell out a fundraiser dinner Friday in New York hosted by billionaire Warren Buffett, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"His record has been one of reform and that has been an uncomfortable process for some of the major sources of political cash," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political fundraising.
As one Wall Street fundraiser for Obama told the Times, "It's more difficult this time around."
After raising $43 million from the industry in 2008, Obama spent much of his first term criticizing Wall Street's excesses and pushing for financial reform.
Obama has raised money from the financial industry during each of his three fundraising visits and still wants the industry's support, but now the question is whether bankers still want to back him, the Times said.
Instead, Wall Street looks to be backing Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who was Massachusetts governor after founding private equity firm Bain Capital. He held a sold-out breakfast fundraiser at the exclusive Essex House hotel Tuesday, the Times said.
Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund executive who is one of the most vocal defectors to Romney, said he found "incredible success" raising money for the former governor.
"We are raising the guy a fortune from people who are disaffected by what the president is doing," Scaramucci said during the summer.
Obtaining support from New York's financial leaders hasn't been all bad for Obama, who hosted a number of sold-out fundraisers with financiers, most recently Sept. 19.
Friday was the deadline for filing third-quarter campaign contribution reports to the Federal Election Commission.