Bloomberg News

Obama Outraises Romney $9 Million as Conventions Approach

August 20, 2012

President Barack Obama raised almost $9 million more last month than presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and entered the final month of the pre-convention campaign with almost triple the cash in the bank.

In the final measurement of the race for campaign cash before the national party conventions, Obama brought in $49.2 million to $40.3 million for Romney, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure reports filed today.

Obama entered August with $87.7 million in his campaign bank account while Romney reported $30.2 million. He has raised about twice as much as Romney in total, $356.5 million to $197 million.

The Republican convention begins Aug. 27 in Tampa, Florida, and the Democratic convention is the following week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Obama spent $59 million in July, about $10 million more than he took in during the month. Much of that money went for television ads; between July 15 and Aug. 13, Obama spent an estimated $23.6 million on 63,735 commercials, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks television advertising. Romney spent an estimated $10.9 million on 27,179 spots during the same period. In total, the former Massachusetts governor spent $32.7 million on his campaign last month.

Obama Spending

Since the start of the presidential campaign last year, Obama has outspent Romney, $270.6 million to $166.8 million.

Romney has been able to make up the funding gap partly through a joint effort with the Republican National Committee and state parties, which can take in larger donations than the candidate committees.

Romney Victory announced earlier this month it had raised more than $101.3 million in July, while Obama’s joint fundraising committee exceeded $75 million. That was the third straight month that Romney and the Republicans combined to bring in more money than the total for Obama and his Democratic allies.

In advance of the Republican convention, Romney is crisscrossing the country for one final fundraising sprint. He’s holding events tonight at two private homes in Metairie, Louisiana, a wealthy suburb of New Orleans. Tickets for the dinner reception, co-hosted by Senator David Vitter, Governor Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, cost as much as $50,000 per person.

Romney Fundraising

Over the weekend, Romney raised at least $7 million in a series of fundraisers stretching from the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A senior Romney aide speaking on condition of anonymity said Romney will focus more on public events after his party’s convention and do less fundraising, putting pressure on the campaign to raise as much as possible this month.

The pro-Romney super-political action committee Restore Our Future reported raising $7.5 million last month and had $20.5 million in the bank. The PAC spent $8.1 million in July on behalf of Romney.

Houston homebuilder Bob Perry contributed another $2 million, bringing his total donations to $8 million. New York- based Renco Group Inc., whose subsidiaries include Hummer manufacturer AM General Corp., gave $1 million.

Muneer Satter, who in June announced his retirement from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., (GS:US) gave $120,000 to Restore Our Future. Goldman Sachs employees are the largest source of campaign cash for Romney’s presidential run, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign donations.

Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC that promotes Obama’s re-election, raised $4.8 million last month, including $1 million from Philadelphia real estate developer Mel Heifetz and $750,000 from New York architect Jon Stryker.

Overall, Priorities USA Action has raised $25.5 million for this campaign, which is less than one-third the $89.7 million that Restore Our Future has taken in.

To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Bykowicz in Washington at jbykowicz@bloomberg.net; Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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