Team Romney banks $170M in September, trails Obama by $11M

Mitt Romney's campaign raised $170 million in September, nearly matching President Obama's $181 million haul and far surpassing his previous record, an August effort that brought in just under $112 million.

The figure, provided by the Romney campaign, indicates the Republican candidate has no issue keeping pace with Obama through the campaign's final weeks.

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“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering voters a vision for our country that will grow the economy, increase incomes, and bring relief to the middle class,” said campaign finance Chairman Spencer Zwick in a press release announcing the numbers. "That is why we are seeing such strong support from donors across the country.”

September is the second consecutive month that the president has bested Romney in fundraising, reversing a trend from earlier in the summer that saw the Republican nominee regularly besting the incumbent president.

The Romney campaign said that more than 93 percent of donations were of $250 or less, equating to more than $43 million of the total haul and more than a million small-dollar donations. The campaign said Romney and the Republican National Committee (RNC) also have more than $191 million cash on hand for the final weeks of the election; the Obama campaign did not disclose its available cash on hand.

“President Obama has demonstrated that he can’t defend his record of four years of failure,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in the release. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a much different vision than President Obama’s policies of larger government, a stagnant economy, and more government dependence. They are offering voters a pro-growth plan that will finally get our country on the right track again. It is why the Romney-Ryan ticket is seeing such tremendous support and it is why we will win in November.”

Romney and the RNC have now raised more than $700 million for the campaign cycle. That trails the joint Democratic effort by around $135 million, although conservative super-PAC spending more than makes up for the difference.

Romney's announcement came at the start of a three-day retreat in Manhattan for top donors to the campaign that features comedian Dennis Miller along with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Priebus. Also expected in attendance: Donald Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani.