Photograph by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.
President Obama had $104 million in the bank at the end of March, 10 times more than Mitt Romney, illustrating the kind of uphill battle that the presumptive Republican nominee faces to catch up after a bruising primary fight, reports the Los Angeles Times. Romney raised $12.6 million in March and started April with $10.1 million in the bank. For his part, Obama managed to raise $35 million last month. So far in this campaign cycle, the former governor has raised a little more than $87 million, compared with Obama’s $197 million.
Still, things aren’t as bad as they may seem at first for Romney since conservative super PACs and other independent groups are raising lots of cash. In fact, American Crossroads, a conservative group linked to Karl Rove, has raised $49 million in the first three months of the year, more than the $31.2 million raised by Romney’s campaign during that time, reports the Washington Post. The Restore Our Future super PAC spent almost $13 million helping Romney combat Rick Santorum in March.
As was the case in the 2008 campaign, Obama is relying heavily on small donors, notes Bloomberg. In March, 52 percent of Obama’s money came in donations of less than $200, compared with 13 percent for Romney. At the same time, though, Obama is also increasing the amount of cash he gets from large fundraisers known as bundlers. The campaign has identified 117 people who have raised at least $500,000 each, compared with 61 at the end of 2011.
The growing importance of outside groups is raising uncomfortable questions for the Republican National Committee, notes Politico. Some suggest this campaign marks the first signs that the official bureaucracy is becoming less important as more decisions are being made by outsiders.