The super-PAC supporting President Obama registered its best fundraising month to date in June, pulling in $6.2 million, but spent even more, using $7.9 million mostly on ads hammering GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
The amount raised by Priorities USA was dwarfed by the $20 million raised by Romney’s super-PAC, Restore Our Future, in June, but topped their previous high by $2 million, and filings suggest wealthier donors are opening up their checkbook to the pro-Obama effort.
Priorities USA was left with $2.7 million in the bank after spending heavily on an ad blitz in June targeting Romney over his tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital and his use of offshore accounts to house his wealth.
But since April, however, when Romney all but wrapped up the GOP nomination, Priorities has outspent Restore Our Future on advertising $14 million to $9, according to reports.
The Obama super-PAC, run by former White House aide Bill Burton, has been consistently outpaced in fundraising by Romney’s group, which has been bankrolled by a number of high-profile businessmen, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who pledged $10 million in June.
Democrats have been worried about the fundraising edge for Republican-affiliated outside groups, which also include the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, both of which are expected to spend heavily in key swing states.
But filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showed a number of new mega-donors backing Priorities USA, suggesting that Democratic donors may be ready to help the group compete against Romney.
Mark Jacobs, the founder of telecom giant Qualcomm donated $2 million to the super-PAC and Hollywood star Morgan Freeman donated $ 1 million. Last week, Burton said the group had received a “couple” of multi-million dollar contributions. Media mogul Fred Eychaner, founder of Newsweb Corporation, also donated $1 million.
“It's a wide range of folks, from our friends in San Diego and the entertainment community to Chicago to New York. There's a wide range of people,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Comedian Bill Maher and director Steven Spielberg have also donated to the outside group.
Overall, the Romney campaign and Republican National Committee have outraised Obama and the Democratic National Committee for the last two months. In June, Romney and Republicans outraised Obama and Democrats by $106 million to $71.
Obama’s campaign has stepped up their personal pleas for donations, with the president penning a first-person fundraising letter to supporters last week warning them that he could be the first sitting president in recent history to be outspent by his challenger.
At the end of May, Obama’s campaign held $110 million in cash to Romney’s $17 million.