WASHINGTON — For the third month in a row, Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney's campaign outraised the re-election effort of President Barack Obama, scooping up $101 million, while the president pulled in $75 million.
The fundraising totals, announced by the campaigns Monday, underscore an ominous trend for Obama: It was the third month in a row that the former Massachusetts governor has beaten the Democratic incumbent.
At the end of last month, Obama's campaign sent out increasingly urgent email missives asking supporters to contribute. One signed by the president noted that his forthcoming birthday "could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that's not up to me — it's up to you."
Obama, who amassed a war chest while Romney was duking it out in a tough primary fight this year, still has raised more: nearly $627 million, compared with the $535 million raised by Romney and his GOP allies, according to data from the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute and new figures released by the two campaigns.
The Obama campaign said on Twitter that 201,000 of those who donated in July were new contributors who had not supported his efforts this year or in 2008. In all, 2.7 million people have donated since he kicked off his re-election bid in April 2011.
Those new contributors were not sufficient to overcome Romney's momentum in the money race. His schedule in July was packed with high-priced events, including a fundraiser in London that brought in at least $2 million from American ex-pats.
On Monday, Romney's campaign sought to stress the small donors who are backing him, saying that 600,627 contributions received in July were under $250, totaling $25.7 million.
"Once again we see that for many people, this is more than a campaign, it is a cause," Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a joint statement.