Sunday, November 19, 2017

Obama squeaks out August fundraising win over Romney

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WASHINGTON — For the first time in four months, President Barack Obama scored a narrow victory over Mitt Romney in the campaign fundraising race.

Obama's August total — more than $114 million between his campaign and the Democratic Party — marks the first time the incumbent president has out-raised Romney since his challenger secured the GOP nomination in April.

Romney's haul, through a joint fundraising effort with the Republican National Committee, totaled $111.6 million. Both campaigns released their finance figures early Monday morning.

It is the first time this election season that Obama raked in more than $100 million in one month. Romney has done so for three consecutive months.

"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 campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement, pointing to the more than 1.1 million contributors in August, who gave an average of $58.

The Romney campaign did not release its total number of contributors, but did say that more than 820,000 donations received were in increments of $250 or less.

"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," Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick and RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Team Romney ended August with $168.5 million in the bank; the Obama camp did not reveal how much cash it has on hand.

In an email to supporters, Messina said Obama's fundraising edge was "unbelievable." But he cautioned that, factoring in the groups spending on Romney's behalf, Republicans still hold a money advantage.

According to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times, outside groups have spent at least $83 million this election in opposition to Obama. Groups opposing Romney have spent around $30 million.

Campaigning Monday at a machine tool plant in Mansfield, Ohio, Romney steered clear of campaign finance to focus on Obama's economic policies.

Cataloging the weak state of the economy under Obama, he told the crowd, estimated at 1,200, that 46 million people are receiving food stamps.

"That's a record, and not a good record," he said, prompting a man in the crowd to yell, "It's not Bush's fault!"

Democrats have stressed that Obama inherited an economic disaster from President George W. Bush, whose name is not often heard at Romney events.

Obama had no public campaign stops Monday.

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