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Romney, RNC top Obama, DNC in May fundraising

- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised more in campaign donations than President Obama and the Democratic National Committee in May, according to the numbers both campaigns announced Thursday.

Mr. Romney, Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, said he and the RNC raised $76.8 million in campaign donations, topping the "more than $60 million" the Obama campaign announced and setting a one-month record for either campaign this cycle.

The Romney campaign announced its totals in a press release soon after the Obama campaign announced its number in a Twitter message.

"The campaign raised more than $60 Million across committees in May," Team Obama said. "Thanks to everyone who chipped in."

Mr. Romney said his campaign took in nearly 300,000 small-dollar donations from those giving $250 or less, though they accounted for only $12 million of the money he raised.

His campaign said it had $107 million in cash on hand at the end of the month.

For Mr. Obama, his May haul is an improvement from the $46.3 million he and the DNC raised in April, when they topped Mr. Romney's $40.1 million.

The Obama campaign and the DNC took in $29.1 million in January, $45 million in February and $53 million in March.

Team Obama downplayed Mr. Romney's May fundraising advantage, saying the $10 million edge was expected because Mr. Romney had just formed a joint committee with the Republican National Committee, and with the primary over, those donors who had already gave the maximum amount during that period could now make general election contributions.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Mr. Romney's strong May fundraising numbers aren't surprising considering Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who ran for president in 2004, out-raised then-President Bush two to one shortly after he wrapped up the nomination.

"We anticipated that they would beat us this month," Mr. LaBolt said during a conference call with reporters, noting that Mr. Obama is focused on expanding his donor base.

"Certainly there will be a lot of special interest spending against the president this fall [geared toward] maintaining the special breaks for their corporations that help them but don't serve the national interest," Mr. LaBolt continued. "That should serve as a clarion call to our donors to give now to build the largest grass-roots campaign in history across the country."

The Obama campaign surpassed the 2.2 million donor mark with more than 572,000 people donating in May with 174,000 of them donating for the first time. Nearly all of the donations — 98 percent — the campaign received in May were less than $250, and the average donation was $54.94, the campaign said in subsequent tweets.

The announcement comes amid reports that Mr. Obama has spent more time fundraising this election cycle than any other president in history and one night after a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser with 600 gay and lesbian donors, some of whom paid $25,000 each to attend. (The amount raised Monday night was not included in the May fundraising figure.)

During the Hollywood LGBT event, Mr. Obama told the crowd he "could not be prouder" of his administration's work to advance fairness and equality.

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