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Mr. Obama also collected nearly $170,000 — more than any other candidate raised in 23 states — from Puerto Rico, whose residents cannot vote for president. Mr. Obama traveled to the territory last month in the first official presidential visit to the island in 50 years.

Three bundlers live on the island: Roberto Prats, Andres Guillemard and Andres Lopez.

While the money of a few made up a disproportionate sum of Mr. Obama’s fundraising, it did not come at the expense of broad support on a smaller scale. The residents of 36 states gave more money to Mr. Obama than to any other presidential candidate, The Times analysis of reported donations showed.

The enormous fraction that can be traced to the personal connections and outreach of several dozen individuals — and the disparity between Mr. Messina’s account and an analysis of records filed with the Federal Election Commission — has to do with the way politicians from both parties raise funds when they occupy the White House.

The Obama Victory Fund, the main re-election vehicle, is structured as a joint committee that brings in money under the umbrella of both the official presidential re-election campaign and the DNC. Both share the same goal. Although federal law caps donations to election campaigns at effectively $5,000 per cycle, national parties can accept $30,800 per calendar year.

A joint campaign can collect for both. Large campaign donations are often made in the names of both a husband and a wife — making single-day contributions of $71,600 the most effective way for a wealthy family to help elect a president.

The result is a campaign that retains the intimate, grass-roots feel attached to a name-brand candidate while capturing the major infrastructure of the party — and that presidential surrogates can pick and choose statistics from either the OVF or the official campaign as it suits them.

The only Republican with the campaign bankroll that approaches that of Mr. Obama, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, also relied on a small number of extremely wealthy individuals — without the broad net of small donors to round it out that Mr. Obama enjoys.

More than two-thirds of Mr. Romney’s $18 million haul came from people giving $2,500, the maximum that can be used for the primary election. Only $1 million came from contributions of less than $200.

Mr. Romney relied disproportionately on sparsely populated Utah, where he has Mormon roots ($1.3 million raised), and Florida ($1.5 million), where he campaigned heavily last month, for monetary support. He led 11 states in all, largely Southern and sparsely populated Republican strongholds including Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri and Louisiana. Mr. Romney’s own state of Massachusetts favored Mr. Obama at $1.5 million.

Half a million dollars of Mr. Romney’s haul was collected by five registered lobbyists, disclosures show, including several who bundled money for George W. Bush.

Yet the real money behind a threat to Mr. Obama this election season, however, could come not from a Republican opponent, but from shadowy groups that can accept unlimited contributions under newly relaxed rules.

The Federal Election Commission received notice of formation from a new group of this type, which often are backed by corporations or a few wealthy magnates, last week.

It is called American Citizens of Modest Means.