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Romney, RNC Outraise Obama, DNC by $35 Million in June

Romney, RNC Outraise Obama, DNC by $35 Million in June

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 9, 2012


Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee hauled in $35 million more than Team Obama in June, outraising the incumbent's campaign for the second month in a row and signaling an increasingly competitive money race.

Romney and the RNC, which announced a coordinated campaign in late April, reported raising a combined $106.1 million in June and currently have $160 million in cash on hand. The campaign touted its lower-dollar contributions, reporting that $22 million of the money raised came from donations of under $250, and that 94 percent of contributions arrived in the form of $250 or less.

“This month’s fundraising is a statement from voters that they want a change of direction in Washington,” said Spencer Zwick, the national finance chairman for Romney Victory. “In the months to come, these resources will be crucial to highlighting the difference between President Obama’s broken promises and Mitt Romney’s plan to get America on the right track again.”

The Obama campaign, which runs a similarly coordinated financial campaign with the Democratic National Committee, reported raising $71 million in June from 706,000 donors, according to an email the team sent to supporters. “Bad news? We still got beat. Handily,” the email read. In May, the Romney operation outraised the Democrats by nearly $17 million, marking its first financial lead this cycle.

Both teams are positioning themselves as the underdog in the fundraising contest. The Romney campaign circulated a memo Monday morning noting Obama’s $100 million advantage at the start of the general election campaign in April. The campaign also cited Obama’s cash advantage at the end of May: $109 million to Romney’s $17 million. The note cited a Washington Post chart showing Obama spent $46 million on television advertising since mid April, compared to Romney’s $17 million.

In a final push for donations Friday, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina emailed supporters with the news of the rival campaign’s June fundraising total. “…if it continues at this pace, it could cost us the election,” he wrote, asking for pitches of $3 or more. Messina noted that during the primary campaign season, more than 75 percent of donations came from supporters giving less than $1,000. On Sunday, while Romney held a lucrative Hamptons fundraiser, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also emailed supporters asking for donations: “If Mitt and his SuperPAC backers can bury us under a wave of corporate special interest cash right now, we will lose in November.”

According to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, super PACs backing Romney outspent those backing Obama by a little over $3 million in May. Last week, the conservative group Crossroads GPS announced a $25 million summer ad buy, and an additional $40 million in advertising during the last two months of the campaign. Obama will receive support from organization labor, which plans to put a revamped ground game to work on behalf of Democratic election efforts.

During the president's campaign bus tour last week, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod tried to manage expectations about a fundraising lag, telling reporters he didn’t think monthly fundraising reports would determine the race. “I think ultimately you can have all the money you want, but if you don’t have the right candidate and the right message . . . They’ve spent an awful lot of money in the last few months, and it’s hard to see what that bought them,” he said.

The Romney campaign argues that despite the president running negative ads against the presumptive Republican nominee, Obama’s poll numbers haven’t improved. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Obama leads Romney nationally by 2.6 percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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