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Romney's June fundraising outpaces Obama's

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney appears to be collecting more money from big donors than President Obama. June fundraising figures will be available later this month. 

By Alina Selyukh and Jeff MasonReuters / July 10, 2012

In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns in Holland, Mich. Romney privately raised millions of dollars from New York's elite. In June, Romney raised more money from big donors than his rival for the presidency, President Obama.

Evan Vucci/AP/File

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WASHINGTON

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised $106 million in June, far surpassing President Barack Obama's $71 million haul in the record-setting money race leading to the Nov. 6 election.

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Romney's fundraising mark, announced by his campaign on Monday, is the best monthly total so far in the 2012 presidential campaign. It is another sign that Romney and his allies are on course to wash away any cash advantage that Obama, as an incumbent president, typically would enjoy in a bid for re-election.

Romney's effort is being fueled largely by big-money donors who have poured cash into his campaign, the Republican National Committee's election funds and independent "Super PACs," or political action committees, that support Republicans.

The former Massachusetts governor and the RNC have raised at least $389 million to date, less than the $512 million Obama has collected for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to federal disclosures and Monday's announcements.

But that gap is narrowing.

In May, the Romney campaign's fundraising - driven in part by events such as a dinner in Las Vegas that was hosted by Donald Trump and raised about $2 million - topped Obama's fundraising for the first time. The June figures reported by the campaigns on Monday continued that trend.

Meanwhile, Romney's efforts are getting a big boost from Republicans' embrace of Super PACs, which unlike campaigns have no limits on how much they can raise from individuals.

Figures for June will not be available until later this month, but through May, Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney Super PAC, had raised more than $61 million. American Crossroads, another conservative Super PAC helping Romney, had raised more than $34 million.

American Crossroads revealed on Monday that it has booked $40 million worth of TV air time in nine key states for the two months leading up to the election.

The PAC supporting Obama, Priorities USA Action, had raised just $14.3 million through the end of May.Taken together, the fundraising for each side in the presidential race is close, but Romney and the groups that support him are raising money at a faster pace than Obama and his Democratic allies.

The Romney team's fundraising has set off alarms among Democrats at a time when Obama has a slim lead in most polls.

"This is no joke. If we can't keep the money race close, it becomes that much harder to win in November," Obama campaign's chief operating officer Ann Marie Habershaw wrote in an email to supporters, titled "We could lose if this continues."

A 'Statement' by Voters?

Romney's campaign touted the June figures as a sign of his growing momentum and as an indication that its efforts to build grassroots support among small donors are working."

This month's fundraising is a statement from voters that they want a change of direction in Washington," said Spencer Zwick, Romney's finance chief.

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