Obama helps re-election campaign and Dems by raising almost $44 million in April

President Obama raised that amount, almost nine million dollars less than what he raised in March, with more than 400,000 people contributing.

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    In this May 9 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington.
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President Barack Obama raised a combined $43.6 million in April for his campaign and the Democratic Party as he faces a unifying Republican effort around Mitt Romney for the White House.

Obama's April fundraising haul fell short of the $53 million he raised in March. That's as his campaign said more than 400,000 people contributed to the campaign last month, including 169,000 new donors.

"This election is going to be close, given the historic challenges this country faced when the president came into office," campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters in a YouTube video released Wednesday.

Obama's fundraising announcement came the same day the Republican group Crossroads GPS said it would spend $25 million on ads critical of the president. Crossroads is the non-profit arm of American Crossroads, a "super" political committee backed by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove that has raised about $100 million this election to defeat Obama.

Indeed, Messina's message pointed to the millions of dollars being spent on anti-Obama ads by so-called special interests and oil company executives — specifically calling out the Koch brothers, who founded Americans For Prosperity. That group has spent about $5 million on ads so far critical of Obama.

While Romney and the Republicans have super PACs working in their favor, so does Obama. Priorities USA Action on Tuesday released a video critical of Bain Capital, the firm Romney once headed. But Democratic super PACs have raised and spent less on average than their GOP counterparts, including Restore Our Future, which supports Romney.

Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party had about $124 million cash on hand at the end of March, while Romney and the GOP reported $43 million left in the bank at the end of March, federal reports show. Obama's recent figures don't count donations this month, when the president raised about $15 million at a Hollywood fundraising event hosted by actor George Clooney.

Presidential campaigns and super PACs have until midnight Sunday to file their fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission.

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