Mitt Romney outraised President Barack Obama in May, the first time the Republican presidential challenger has jumped ahead of Obama, a sign some say may signal trouble for the Democratic race.
“It is clear that people aren’t willing to buy into ‘hope & change’ again,” said Spencer Zwick, Romney’s national finance chairman, the New York Times reports. “Voters are making an investment because they believe that it will benefit the country.”
The Obama campaign says that's nonsense, arguing that it had been expecting such a result all along.
“We anticipated that they would beat us this month,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said on a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon, according to the Washington Post. “We’re focusing on continuing to grow our donor base.”
The Romney campaign and the Republican Party reported Thursday raising a combined $76.8 million last month, nearly doubling its April effort. While the Obama campaign said it and the Democratic Party raised a combined $60 million in May -- $16.4 million more than in April, but nearly 17 million less than his rival.
Romney's May totals also included $75,000 each from Romney and his wife, Ann. It was the first known donation by Romney to his own election bid in this campaign.
According to the New York Times, the Republican fund-raising haul — the first full month that Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee were in partnership.
“We knew this day would come,” LaBolt said. “Kerry outraised Bush 2-to-1 in May 2004, shortly after he wrapped up the nomination. The RNC and the Romney campaign just established their joint committee, which means all the primary donors ... can now go back and make that same contributions for the general.”
Thursday's announcement raises red flags for the Obama team, who not only are watching Romney pass them in the fundraising race after having them match the campaign in April, but wonder whether Obama’s public support for gay marriage cost him support.
But that's unlikely to be the case, as the was hailed by supporters of Mr. Obama’s in the gay community, and it appears to have bolstered fund-raising for the president among wealthy members of that group.
The Washington Post adds that Obama reportedly raised more than $5 million from the LGBT community during a California fundraising swing this week.
At an LGBT event Wednesday night, he received a long, standing ovation from the crowd, which included celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and "Glee" singer Darrin Criss, CBS New says.
"The fight on behalf of the LGBT community is part of a broader fight on behalf of all Americans. It's a part of a history of trying to make this union a bit more perfect," he told the crowd