So can we finally stop hearing the erroneous claim that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is winning the fundraising battle against President Barack Obama, the all-time champion when it comes to vacuuming up campaign cash? In August, the GOP nominee had his best month of fundraising–and fell about $2 million short of Obama's haul.
As we've previously noted, Obama began raising money for his reelection bid in April 2011, pulling in tens of millions of dollars each month for his reelection committee and the Democratic National Committee. Romney only began his joint fundraising efforts with the Republican National Committee in April 2012–a full year after Obama.
In aggregate, Obama's reelection vehicles have raised $134 million more than those of Romney to date. We previously noted that in order to catch Obama, Romney had a high mountain to climb. Before August's numbers were announced, we calculated that the GOP nominee would need to raise, in each of the remaining months before the election, $44 million more than his rival. Since Obama raised about $2 million more than Romney in August, the challenge got that much more daunting–in September and October, he'll need to outpace Obama by an average of $67 million. It's worth noting that September 2008 was Obama's best month for fundraising, when his campaign committee, the DNC and his joint fundraising committee collectively reported donations of $202.4 million. That's almost twice as much as Romney reportedly raised in August–$111.6 million.
In the race for money, Romney is in Obama's rearview mirror and losing ground.
We had more to say on the subject to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones. One thing lost in these totals is what they represent. The contributions come with strings attached, whether they're from big bundlers like George Kaiser of Solyndra fame, big donors like Harold Simmons or Jerry Perenchio, or combinations of the two like Jeffrey Katzenberg.