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Romney tops Obama in July fund-raising

Mitt Romney’s joint committee — which collects money for his campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state GOP committees — now has $185.9 million cash on hand.

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Mitt Romney’s joint committee — which collects money for his campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state GOP committees — now has $185.9 million cash on hand.

Mitt Romney’s joint fund-raising committee announced a July haul of $101.3 million on Monday, outraising President Obama’s joint committee for the third straight month.

No presidential candidate had ever had two $100 million months in a single election.

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Romney’s joint committee — which collects money for his campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state GOP committees — now has $185.9 million cash on hand.

Obama’s joint fund-raising committee collected $75 million in July, his reelection campaign reported, its highest total of the election.

“Once again we see that for many people, this is more than a campaign, it is a cause,” Romney’s finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, said in a statement. “We are honored to have the support of a broad spectrum of donors — independents, Democrats, and Republicans — whose support of Governor Romney shows that he has the needed plan to jump-start our economy and get the country on the right track again. We are well on track to raise the money to be successful in November.”

Romney has been on a fund-raising roll since locking up the Republican nomination. In May, the first full month after Romney dispatched the last of his serious GOP challengers, his joint committee raised $76.8 million.

Obama collected $60 million in May, the first fund-raising period since 2007 in which he had been outraised.

The president fared better in June, pulling in $71 million, but fell far short of Romney’s $106.1 million.

Both campaigns sought to project broad bases of support Monday. Romney’s reported that 94 percent of donations in July were $250 or less; Obama’s claimed 98 percent.

The Obama campaign also noted that 201,000 July donations came from people who had never contributed to the president before.

Romney and the Republicans still trail Obama and the Democrats in total fund-raising, $627 million to $495 million. But the president’s cash advantage is effectively gone. The New York Times reported Sunday that Obama and the Democrats spent about $400 million between the beginning of last year and the end of last month.

By the end of June, Romney’s joint fund-raising committee had a $26 million advantage in cash on hand. Obama’s committee has not revealed its cash on hand total through July, but the deficit probably grew in a month when it was outraised by 35 percent.

Meanwhile, Romney has been stockpiling money from donors who have already given the $2,500 maximum for the primary season. These donors’ additional contributions — as much as $2,500 more — cannot be tapped by the Romney campaign until the official start of the general election season.

The embargo will be lifted when Romney officially becomes the GOP nominee at the Republican National Convention this month.

Romney also enjoys a significant edge in outside spending. Restore Our Future, the leading pro-Romney super PAC, had $21.6 million cash on hand at the end of June, compared with $2.8 million held by its pro-Obama counterpart, Priorities USA Action.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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