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During the bitter primary fight for the Republican presidential nomination, opponents of Mitt Romney claimed that while the now-presumptive GOP nominee could out-fund-raise and outspend his GOP opponents, he would not be able to match incumbent President Barack Obama’s campaign money machine.
But Romney is raising more money than Obama and the trend appears likely to continue through the November election.
In May, Romney and the “super PACs” that support his candidacy pulled in $86 million — at least $20 million raised by Obama and his allies.
“Romney is clearly winning the money battle with Obama,” a disheartened Democratic strategist admitted to Capitol Hill Blue Wednesday. “This is not what we expected.”
Along with the populist appeal that enthralled voters and attracted large, enthusiastic crowds four years ago, Obama’s fundraising magic has faded. Facing an ever-growing list of critics and grumblings from inside his own party, the President is finding it harder and harder to keep up with his GOP challenger.
Obama’s campaign money machine in 2008 was built largely around small donors, many of them younger voters new to the political process. But with a Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for unlimited donations from deep-pocket donors and disillusionment from the small contributors who provided so much of Obama’s base in 2008, the President is finding himself an underdog in fundraising and — based on polls — in danger of becoming a runner-up at the polls.
“There are problems for the President, that’s for sure,” said the Democratic strategist, who asked not to be identified. “Some of the wounds are self-inflicted and some of the problems stem from a change in the system. Romney is proving to be better at the big-money game.”
The problem is not limited to the Presidential candidates. The Republican National Committee raised $34 million in May, compared to $20 million for the Democratic National Committee.