More evidence that Obama's fundraising numbers are lagging (Updates)

On Wednesday the Obama campaign sent around a slightly panicky email about its quarterly fundraising numbers. Today, they have sent out another, slightly panickier, email about their quarterly fundraising numbers. The email is titled "Midnight," just to make it a little bit scary.

Friend --

If you're planning on donating to this campaign at any point in the next 16 months, you should do it now.

Tonight at midnight is not just your last chance to enter the "Dinner with Barack and Joe" contest, it's also a hugely important fundraising deadline for this campaign -- the first time we'll report on our progress to the public and the press.

The next few hours are critical for us. Please donate $5 or more today:

Later in the email, Team O runs with a bit stronger language:

Come next fall, people might not remember this date -- or make the connection between the strength of our campaign then and the steps we took in these early months. But anyone worth their salt in politics knows tonight is one of the most important tests we'll face as a campaign this year. (emphasis added)

Really -- a quarterly fundraising number is "one of the most important tests we'll face as a campaign this year"? Only if your numbers have gone south and you expect that to generate a lot of static about your campaign's weakness. The Obama campaign could be playing a head game here, but I wasn't alone in taking yesterday's email as a sign of weak numbers. We'll see soon enough; midnight tonight is the close of this quarter, so the campaign's numbers will be due for release shortly.

Update: Welcome Drudge readers! While you're here, check out our posts on the games some people are playing on Capitol Hill, and a fond wish expressed by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. Or hit the Tatler's front page and see the latest from our team.

Update: Some folks counter that these emails are typical of the end of a fundraising cycle. Based on their tone I don't think so, and I just received an email from Ted Cruz's Senate campaign in Texas that is also promoting the end of the fundraising quarter, and doesn't push any panic buttons at all. In fact, it's very optimistic and motivating -- which is typical of a campaign that's exceeding its goals and pushing for even better numbers. Obama's pessimistic emails strike me as goading supporters to just get with it and contribute already. It's a very different tone, hence my speculation that they're getting underwhelming numbers.

More: Jim Geraghty shares my doubts.

Update: The little scare tactic may have worked. Or, Obama picked up enough cash in his dual fundraisers tonight to make up the difference. Team O just sent out a new email.

Friend --

I wanted to say thank you before the midnight deadline passes. And I'm looking forward to thanking four of you in person over dinner sometime soon.

If you haven't thrown your name in the hat yet, make a donation of $5 or more before midnight tonight -- you'll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of our guests.