For the first time in several months Obama and the Democrats raised more money than Romney and the Republicans. However, Romney probably still has more cash on hand than the Democrats.
The Democratic Party raised $114 million in August slightly more than the $111 million that Romney and crew were able to scrape up. Both parties hope to raise about $750 million before the election on November 6.
During the earlier part of the campaign in June and July Romney was able to bring in over $100 million a month while Obama and the Democrats brought in around $75 million each month. Campaign manager for Obama Jim Messina said: "The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless cheques to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August." Messina claimed that the Democrats had added 317,000 donors who have never given before to the campaign. Messina went on:"Fueled by contributions from more than 1.1 million Americans donating an average of 58 dollars - more than 317,000 who had never contributed to the campaign before - we raised a total of more than 114 million dollars."
In July Obama spent about $50 million mostly on ads. Romney is seen as having more cash which will no doubt be used to mount a surge of TV ads towards the end of the campaign. They will be directed against the president.
The Republicans claimed to have $168.5 million cash on hand at the beginning of September. The Democrats did not say how much cash they had on hand to start September.
Polls show that Obama is gaining more support and increasing his lead on Romney after the Democratic National Convention. A Gallup seven-day rolling average released Sunday showed Obama at 49% against Romney at 45%.
The amounts raised by each party only tell part of the story as both sides also are supported indirectly bu Super-PAC's. Conservative groups such as American Crossroads and Restore Our Future have raised more funds than their Democratic counterparts.
Independents and the few who are undecided will determine who ultimately wins the presidency. Former Clinton adviser Paul Begala noted in Newsweek.".. when you factor out the undecideds in securely red or blue states (since their votes won’t change the Electoral College results), the election comes down to “around 4 percent of the voters in six states.” No doubt the two parties will be spending all their cash on hand and then some with a deluge of ads to try and sway those undecided voters in those states their way.
Discussion about the election is always framed in terms of Democrats and Republicans. Although there are a number of other parties running and other presidential candidates they seem to fall under the radar of main stream media. Perhaps they have not raised enough money to be considered a player in the high stakes game of U.S. politics.