President Barack Obama’s re- election committee had 10 times the money of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign entering April, Federal Election Commission reports show.
Obama reported a bank balance of $104.1 million after raising $35.1 million in March. That included $7.5 million transferred from a joint fundraising account with the Democratic National Committee. Romney finished March with $10.1 million to spend after raising $13.1 million during the month, his best in the campaign.
Through March 31, Obama raised $196.6 million for his re- election, more than twice as much as the cumulative $88.7 million collected by Romney’s campaign.
Obama, as he did in his 2008 campaign, relied heavily on small-dollar donors. Last month, 52 percent of the money going directly to his campaign committee came in amounts of $200 or less. Romney collected 13 percent of his money in those amounts.
The president also increased his large-dollar fundraising. He identified 117 people who brought in at least $500,000 for his re-election, up from 61 at the end of 2011.
Those newly identified as raising more than $500,000 for the campaign include Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and the first openly gay owner of a major league sports team; Stewart Bainum, chairman of Silver Spring, Maryland-based Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH); and Michael Sacks, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Grosvenor Capital Management.
Obama is the only candidate identifying all of his bundlers, supporters who tap their own networks to raise money. Romney disclosed just two, lobbyists Paul Mattera of Liberty Mutual Group Inc. and Joseph Wall of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. By law, candidates must identify lobbyists raising money for them.
Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee with the April 10 departure from the race of his chief rival for the nomination, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas remain as Republican candidates.
“Mitt Romney’s continued strong fundraising shows that voters across the country are tired of the failures from President Obama,” said Romney’s national finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, in a statement. “We will continue the hard work to raise the necessary funds to defeat President Obama and change the direction of the country.”
A political action committee backing Romney, Restore Our Future, took in $8.7 million last month and had $6.5 million left to spend. Harold Simmons, chairman of Dallas-based Contran Corp., gave $600,000; he gave $200,000 earlier this year.
The pro-Obama PAC Priorities USA Action raised $2.5 million, even after the president in February began urging supporters to contribute. Top donors included $1 million from writer Amy P. Goldman, who gave $1 million; comedian Chelsea Handler, who donated $100,000; and longtime Democratic giver Bernard L. Schwartz, chief executive officer of BLS Investments, who also donated $100,000. The PAC ended the month with $5 million in the bank.
Santorum raised $5 million last month, bringing his total to $20.7 million. He had $1.8 million in the bank and reported debts of $2 million, including $760,009 for media to John Brabender, his senior adviser, and $483,237 for online services and ads.
Gingrich took in $1.7 million, and finished the month with $1.2 million in the bank. He has now raised $22.6 million for his campaign. He had $4.3 million in debts, almost triple what he reported owing a month earlier. His debts included $271,776 to himself for travel expenses and $1.1 million to the air- charter company Moby Dick Airways.
Paul raised $2.6 million last month, bringing his total to $37 million. He had $1.8 million in the bank at the end of March. He received 37 percent of his donations last month in amounts of $200 or less.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at email@example.com.