by InvestorPlace Staff | June 7, 2012 1:02 pm
Mitt Romney has finally caught up to Barack Obama in one important aspect of his campaign: fund-raising.
In May, the first month where direct, head-to-head fund-raising figures between Romney and Obama were available, Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $76.8 million. Obama’s campaign, and the Democratic National Committee took in $60 million in May.
How did Romney take such a large lead on Obama? There are many factors, among them that May was the first month Romney could fully dedicate to campaigning against Obama, and not just running for the GOP nomination. Also, it’s possible that Obama’s public statement in support of gay marriage energized the social conservative base of the Republican Party.
Perhaps the most important reason for Romney’s fund-raising success, though, has been the struggling economy. The May jobs report was well below expectations, and the disappointing April figures, which would have had more influence on donor behavior, were recently revised down even further.
While current polls generally have Obama in the lead now, that edge is definitely slim. If the economy keeps slipping, and Romney keeps raising money at this rate, Obama’s advantage might vanish entirely.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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