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Obama ends March with 10x more cash than Romney

With the deadline approaching for campaigns to disclose their fundraising numbers from March, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting having raised over $12.5 million. By contrast, President Obama's campaign announced they amassed over four times more than Romney, with roughly $53 million. The Dylan Ratigan Show Mega Panel crunch the campaign finance numbers and weigh in on Super PAC spending.

 

President Obama's re-election campaign had 10 times more money in the bank at the end of March than the campaign of presumptive GOP Mitt Romney, according to federal records. 

Obama For America, the president's re-election account, ended last month with about $104 million in cash on hand; Romney, by contrast, reported having just over $10 million in cash on hand at the end of March. 


The disclosures for both campaigns were detailed in filings on Friday with the Federal Election Commission. 

The advantage for Obama is not necessarily surprising, since the president, as an incumbent, has had the benefit of having been able to raise millions from deep-pocketed donors without having to spend much on a primary challenge. 

Obama reported having raised $35 million for his campaign last month, and having spent about $15.7 million. The campaign disclosed earlier this week that the combined Democratic victory efforts had raised a total of $53 million, but that total was divided between the campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and other state parties.

By contrast, the Team Obama raised $45 million in February, $21.3 million of which went to the campaign, and another $24 million divided between the other committees.

The Romney campaign filed its FEC report earlier Friday, which reflected that the former Massachusetts governor had raised $12.6 million in primary funds — its best month to date — in March. Its filing also showed the campaign spent about $10.3 million during the same period. 

Romney's fundraising disadvantage versus Obama at this stage reflects several factors, chiefly the fact that Romney wasn't seen as the uncontested Republican nominee until earlier this month, when rival Republican Rick Santorum suspended his campaign. Romney was still facing competition for donors and couldn't formally access money raised for the general election, too. Moreover, the continued bloodletting in the GOP primary through March forced the Romney campaign to continue to exhaust resources. 

Nonetheless, both Romney and Obama's campaigns will be aided by the largesse of party committees — the RNC and the DNC, mainly — along with supportive super PACs, which have also collected unlimited donations in support of both candidates. 

The DNC's report showed the committee had raised $17.8 million in March and had $24.4 million in the bank at the end of the month. The RNC said earlier this week that it had raised $13.7 million last month, and had $32.7 million in the bank.

A pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, raised almost $8.7 million in March, spent $12.7 million and ended the month with $6.5 million in the bank. Priorities USA Action, the super PAC banked by the Obama campaign, which has struggled somewhat in fundraising, said on its Twitter account that it had raised $4.5 million during the entire first quarter of 2012, a number that slightly obscures its total haul for March. 

Another Republican super PAC which might boost Romney, American Crossroads, said that it had raised about $49 million over the last three months between its traditional super PAC and Crossroads GPS, a non-profit which is not required to disclose the source of its donations.

NBC's Carrie Dann and Garrett Haake contributed reporting.