By Justin Sink
President Obama's campaign raised $114 million in August, the largest monthly haul for either presidential campaign in the 2012 cycle.
Obama's total — raised through a joint account with the Democratic National Committee — bested Mitt Romney, who announced raising $111.6 million in August just minutes before the release from the president's campaign. Romney had beat Obama in each of the prior three months.
"The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August," said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement. "Fueled by contributions from more than 1.1 million Americans donating an average of $58 — more than 317,000 who had never contributed to the campaign before — we raised a total of more than $114 million. That is a critical downpayment on the organization we are building across the country — the largest grassroots campaign in history."
Regaining a fundraising advantage for the president will provide another boost to the president's campaign, which has enjoyed a post-convention polling bump in recent days. According to the Gallup daily tracking poll released Sunday, Obama leads 49-44 percent.
Obama outpaced Romney in terms of total donors (1.1 million to just over 820,000), and percentage of donations coming from small-dollar donors (98 percent to 94 percent) — a sign of voter enthusiasm. Furthermore, the Republican national convention took place in August, driving donor support during the reporting period.
Still, Romney's $111.6 million represents a personal best, and the Republican challenger has greater support from outside groups. Conservative super-PACs like American Crossroads and Restore Our Future have both substantially out raised Democratic committees in 2012.
And Republicans were enthusiastic Monday about the number of small-dollar donors to their campaign, an indication that the GOP base could be rallying around the candidate.
“Americans are not better off than they were four years ago and they are looking for a change of leadership," said Romney fundraising chief Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a joint statement.
On Twitter, the president's campaign offered reserved celebration for besting Romney in August.
"Key point here: Romney cash advantage from May-July means they can continue to outspend us even as we close the gap," wrote Obama's digital director, Teddy Goff.
And the president's own Twitter account urged supporters not to become complacent.
"No celebrating, because they're going to have an even bigger September. But now we know we can match them, doing this our way," read the tweet.