In the first half of October, Mitt Romney raised $21 million more than the President according to Federal Election Commission filings covering the period from October 1st to the 17th.
For the first 17 days of October, Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee said they pulled in just over $90 million while Romney and the RNC brought in almost $112 million during that same time period. Obama’s campaign has outspent the former governor by almost $117 million over the course of the campaign leaving the president with $125 million while Romney has almost $170 million to spend between now and election day.
This campaign marks the first where both candidates have raised almost a billion dollars each and both may well best Obama’s record from the 2008 campaign. Romney has raised $975 million and Obama has brought in $981 since the beginning of their fund raising efforts. Voter’s in battleground states will be on the receiving end of the deluge of advertising likely to be purchased in the final week and a half of the campaign.
The candidates were allowed to pull in these massive totals as this is the first election where both candidates waived public matching funds in order to remove fund raising limits. The sharply-divided electorate has also energized donors on both sides to open their wallets in the hopes of giving their candidate a better chance.
Super PACs and unions have also played a major roll in election financing. Both bundle money from donors, but because of recent campaign finance changes, Republicans can use Super PACs to raise money on an even footing with democrat-friendly unions – something the left has fought vehemently to prevent.
Obama’s fund raising efforts have been called into question lately as, according to web researchers, the majority of his web traffic appears to have originated overseas. The President’s fund raising website does not verify address information as strongly as Romney’s and allows foreign addressed credit cards to be used to donate to the campaign. Considering the strong support Obama gets from Russia, China and Iran, there is some concern of foreign influence on the election.