WASHINGTON — A month before Election Day, President Obama’s campaign and Democrats posted an impressive fund-raising haul, easing the party’s concerns that he would face a significant money disadvantage against his well-financed Republican rival in the crucial closing days. Romney shrugged off a drop in unemployment, an issue at the heart of the race, contending that it is ‘‘crystal clear’’ that a jobs crisis endures.
Bolstered by the Democratic National Convention, Obama and his party Saturday reported a combined take of $181 million for September, their best fund-raising month of the campaign and just short of their record of $190 million in the 2008 campaign, also in September.
Romney’s campaign has not released its report for the month yet.
It was oddly quiet one month out. Obama took time off for a 20th anniversary celebration with his wife, Michelle, postponed from the day of the first presidential debate last week, while Romney devoted time to preparing for the next debate, Oct. 16 in Hempstead, N.Y., before a Saturday evening rally in Apopka, Fla.
But the money machine was grinding relentlessly. Republican running mate Paul Ryan scheduled an evening fund-raiser in Milwaukee and neither party let up in their appeals for cash for the frantic final weeks ahead. Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden go head-to-head in a debate Thursday in Danville, Ky.
‘‘There is exactly one month left to go until Election Day,’’ Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an e-mail pitch. ‘‘The stakes are too high for us to take our foot off the gas now.’’
The president was scheduled to launch a lucrative and celebrity-studded fund-raising swing to Los Angeles and San Francisco on Sunday and Monday followed by a campaign rally in battleground Ohio.
Republicans and Romney himself have seemed invigorated by his spirited leadoff debate performance against a subdued president, which played out for a huge national television audience, estimated at more than 67 million, just as voters at-large are tuning in to the campaign.
But then came the report Friday showing unemployment fell in September from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, marking the first time the rate dipped below 8 percent since the start of Obama’s presidency.
Obama seized on the good news, ‘‘a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now,’’ while Romney had little choice but to play down its significance.
‘‘By any rational measure, it’s crystal clear we’re in the middle of a jobs crisis,’’ Romney said in a fund-raising message to supporters. ‘‘My priority is jobs. And from Day One of my presidency, I will lead us out of this crisis.’’
Chavez, UFW home site to be national monument
KEENE, Calif. — Maria Ybarra’s trailer is one of two left on the property that for more than two decades was home to Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez and farm workers like Ybarra who made up his movement.
The foothills of the Tehachapi mountains continue to house the United Farm Workers of America headquarters and memorials to Chavez, though farm workers no longer live there.
On Monday, during a campaign swing through California, President Obama will designate 105 acres of the property as a national monument within the National Park system — a move that could help shore up support from Hispanic and liberal voters before the election.
As head of the UFW, the Arizona-born Chavez staged a massive grape boycott and many field strikes, and forced growers to sign contracts providing better pay and working conditions to the predominantly Latino farm workers. He was credited with inspiring millions of other Latinos in their fight for more educational opportunities, better housing, and more political power.
The 187-acre site, known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or La Paz, was the planning and coordination center of the UFW starting in 1971.