Today, the Obama campaign released their June fundraising numbers and, for the second straight month, they raised less cash than the Romney campaign. However, both campaigns responded to the new numbers with communiques casting themselves as underdogs in the fundraising race.
This afternoon, the Obama campaign sent out a fundraising email from Obama For America Chief Operating Officer Ann Marie Habershaw in which she took note of the Romney campaign’s June fundraising lead and used it to motivate potential Democratic donors.
However, while the Obama campaign claims Mr. Romney has fundraising edge, the Romney campaign would like reporters to think their supposed fundraising advantage is a myth. This morning, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul sent an email to reporters outlining their reasons for feeling like the financial underdog in the presidential race.
“The Obama campaign would have you believe that they have been outspent, it’s just not the case. Besides the fact that we are facing off against an incumbent president who has been able to fully engage in a fundraising battle this entire campaign, as we could not, we are only allowed to spend primary dollars from now through the convention,” Ms. Saul wrote. “President Obama had no primary opponent, so could use all the money he raised for the primary against Gov. Romney. By contrast, Gov. Romney had to wage a long and expensive primary campaign using precious primary dollars that could not be replenished after he won. Gov. Romney has had a successful couple of months fundraising, but it does not make up for the gap that exists with primary dollars from now through convention.”
Ms. Saul attached a Romney campaign memorandum to her email with a chart illustrating the cash advantage the Obama campaign had going into the post-primary phase of this presidential election. According to Ms. Saul’s chart, the Romney campaign came into May, the first full month after Mr. Romney eliminated Rick Santorum in the race for the Republican nomination, with just about $9.21 million on hand compared to the Obama campaign’s approximately $115.16 million. By the end of May, Team Romney had $17 million on hand compared to Obama For America’s $109.72 million.
After their big fundraising haul, the Romney campaign had $160 million in cash on hand at the end of last month. The Obama campaign has yet to report how much they had left in the bank at the end of last month, so it’s not clear precisely where the money race stands at the moment, but what is apparent is that, for reasons of either brand or expectation management both campaigns want to make it seem like they’re coming from behind in the cash game. Of course, while campaign coffers provide the primary funding for a ground game and advertising strategy, these numbers don’t include the money being raised by super PACs supporting each candidate. On that front, Mr. Romney is ahead by a large a margin.