For the first time in three months, President Obama topped Republican rival Mitt Romney in terms of fundraising. The president brought in over $114 million dollars in the month of August, just ahead of the $111 million brought in by Mitt Romney. It is the first time Obama has topped the Romney team since they joined with the RNC after grabbing the nomination.
The Obama campaign managed the win by expanding their donor base. More than 1.1 million people donated to the campaign, spending an average of $58. The campaign claims they got donations from 317,000 people who had never donated before. Campaign manager Jim Messina said the Obama team was building the biggest grassroots organization in history with the money they have gathered.
President Obama will need every dollar. Despite the win in August, and the overall advantage his campaign has against the Romney campaign, Democrats are at a serious disadvantage in the money game. Republican super PACs, outside groups that can gather unlimited donations, vastly outnumber Democratic super PACs. Recently, Rahm Emanuel left the Obama campaign team to help out one of the Obama super PACs close the gap. These groups rose to prominence after the Citizens United court decision a few years ago.
The win for Obama snaps a three month winning streak for Mitt Romney. In a little less than a month the candidates will meet for the first of three presidential debates. Before then, the airwaves will be bombarded with ads from both candidates. The targets will be the nine or so swing states that are going to be vital to winning the election. Those states include Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.
The president is riding a wave of momentum following the Democratic convention. The polls show him pulling ahead of Romney, and his approval rating has topped 50% for the first time since the killing of Osama Bin Laden. This latest victory might be the most significant, as it appeared Romney was unbeatable at the fundraising game the past few months. Now the airwaves battle begins.