For the first time since April, President Barack Obama has raised more money in a single month than Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Obama’s re-election campaign and its associated committees raised $114 million in August, slightly outpacing the Romney campaign’s $111 million haul.
Critically, Obama’s huge total came largely from small donors — most of whom had not given to the campaign before.
“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,” Obama’s campaign manger Jim Messina said in a statement. “Fueled 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.”
Furthermore, the campaign tweeted that 97.77 percent of its August donations were $250 or less. By contrast, only one third of the Romney campaign’s total came from donations under $250 — an improvement over past efforts, but still not even close to Obama’s grassroots efforts.
Romney’s national finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus responded to the numbers in a joint statement, saying that “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country’s problems — that is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country.”
Although the Romney campaign will still have a spending advantage due to the support of conservative Super PACs and 501(c)(4) “dark money” groups, it now seems doubtful that the advantage will be decisive. As the Obama campaign noted via Twitter, it hopes to raise even more money in September, on the strength of the successful Democratic convention and a round of polls showing Obama pulling ahead as the campaign enters its final stretch.
Photo Credit: AP/The Daytona Beach News-Journal, David Massey