, WASHINGTON, Sep 10 – In a surprise show of strength, President Barack Obama raised $114 million for his re-election bid last month, beating Mitt Romney’s monthly haul for the first time since April, his campaign said.
Campaign officials said early Monday that 1.1 million Americans contributed to Obama’s operation during the month to make up the total, which was easily the most lucrative fundraising period for Obama of the 2012 campaign.
“The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
“Fuelled by contributions from more than 1.1 million Americans donating an average of $58 – more than 317,000 who had never contributed to the campaign before – we raised a total of more than $114 million.
“That is a critical downpayment on the organization we are building across the country – the largest grassroots campaign in history.”
The Hill newspaper reported that Romney had raised $111 million in August, meaning that Obama bested his rival in the fundraising stakes after trailing badly in previous months.
Fundraising is a crucial component at this late stage of the campaign, – ahead of the November 6 election – as it dictates how much candidates can spend on advertising blitzes.
August fundraising was especially significant as it reflected the public response to Romney’s naming of conservative favourite Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick and the two party conventions.
Fundraising is a crucial component at this late stage of the campaign, – ahead of the November 6 election – as it dictates how much candidates can spend on advertising blitzes in key television markets and on firing up get-out-the-vote organizations.
Romney will likely still have a cash advantage over Obama, as he had a large stash of money saved that could only legally used once he was accepted the Republican presidential nomination two weeks ago in Florida.
Multiple Super PAC campaign committees favouring Romney will also rally to his cause, meaning that Obama and his Democrats will still be substantially outspent in the advertising game in the next two months.