For the first time in three months, President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in monthly fundraising. The Obama campaign announced Monday it raised $114 million in August, edging out the Romney side, which raised $111.6 million.
Both totals included money raised by the campaigns themselves and their corresponding national parties. These "victory funds" can accept larger amounts because the proceeds from one check are divided amongst the campaign, the national party, and several state parties. August marks the first month this election cycle that Obama's victory fund has outraised Romney's.
As he has throughout the campaign, Romney relied heavily on larger donors. Seventy percent of the money raised by Romney came from those who donated over $250. The donors who raised this slice of money consisted of only six percent of his total donor base for the month.
"The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August," Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said in a release. "Fueled by contributions from more than 1.1 million Americans donating an average of $58 -- more than 317,000 who had never contributed to the campaign before -- we raised a total of more than $114 million. That is a critical down payment on the organization we are building across the country -- the largest grassroots campaign in history."
As of the end of August, Romney had about $169 million on hand. The Obama side, which depends more on its campaign bank than Romney (who has generous outside backers like Crossroads GPS), did not divulge its cash on hand. September fundraising, which will include convention boosts for each side, will be another important benchmark in the presidential campaign. In 2008, Obama set the monthly fundraising record in September, when his campaign brought in $150 million.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.