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UPDATE: Mitt Romney's campaign announced its April fundraising total on Thursday: $40.1 million, a sum just shy of the $43.6 million President Obama brought in last month and more than three times the former governor's March total.
The Washington Post explains that a large reason for Romney's influx in campaign cash is because his campaign didn't begin collecting general election funds until once it wrapped up the GOP nomination, which it did after Rick Santorum dropped out of the race. (Donors can give $2,500 for the primary, and then another $2,500 for the general election campaign.) The April total also represents the first time that the presumptive nominee began raising money with the help of the Republican National Committee.
"We are pleased with the strong support we have received from Americans across the country who are looking for new leadership in the White House," said Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick. "Along with the hard work of the Republican National Committee, we will continue to raise the funds necessary to defeat President Obama in November."
Wednesday, May 16: President Obama and his allies raised $43.6 million last month for his re-election campaign, a significant drop from his March total but a fundraising haul that is nonetheless expected to continue to outpace rival Mitt Romney.
Romney has not yet released his April total, so for now political observers and pundits are left comparing Obama's monthly sum with the $53 million he and the Democratic National Committee raised in March. In that context, last month's haul looks like something of a disappointment, especially given that for all intents and purposes, the general election campaign kicked off once Rick Santorum dropped out of the GOP race in early April.
Still, the president's team has plenty to get excited about. For one, the campaign reported that it brought in 169,500 new donors last month. And then there is the fact that Team Obama appears well on its way to surpassing the $750 million it raised during the 2008 campaign. This month alone, the president reportedly managed to raise roughly $15 million at a single star-studded Hollywood event, and his newfound stance on gay marriage is also expected to pay dividends for his campaign coffers.
All eyes will be on Romney once his team releases its April total. The now-presumptive GOP nominee raised $12.6 million in March, a total that kept him atop the Republican field but one that was less than a quarter of Obama's monthly total. However, now that he has the Republican stage all to himself, the former governor is expected to begin bringing in larger sums from GOP donors.