President Barack Obama continues to raise more money than Mitt Romney, but the Republican nominee's surrogate groups outraised their Democratic counterparts in May as Romney continues to shrink the president's financial advantage, the latest federal election filings show.
Both sides spent heavily in May, but Romney's surrogates spent three times as much as Obama's, which spent more than they took in for the month.
Obama for America, the President's campaign committee, also spent more than the nearly $40 million it raised in May. Romney For America raised $23 million.
But the candidates' associated groups can accept much larger sums than the actual campaigns (campaign committees can only accept donations of $5,000 or less), and Romney has benefitted. His Super PAC and the Republican National Committee raised $39 million combined, nearly $13 million more than Obama's Super PAC and the Democratic National Committee raised.
Overall, May was a dead heat for fundraising. Team Romney—the campaign, the RNC, and his Super PAC—raised about 63 million in May, as did their counterparts—the Obama campaign, the DNC, and Obama's Super PAC.
However, the Democrats spent significantly more, and the numbers show Romney gaining ground on Obama through donations to his Victory Fund, which can accept donations of up to $75,000 because it is a joint committee between Romney's campaign and the RNC.
Obama, on the other hand, remains dependent on the relatively small donations to his campaign committee.
While Priorities USA, Obama's Super PAC, had its best month to date, the group's $4 million haul is still less than the amount raised by Restore Our Future, Romney's Super PAC, in its worst fund-raising month. Restore Our Future raised $5 million in May, and just last week announced a $10 million donation from casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
At the end of May, Obama and surrogates had $115 million on hand. Romney and his surrogates had $86 million.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.