Obama Raises $43.6 Million in April

With the 2012 presidential race entering its final stretch, President Barack Obama has continued his impressive fundraising efforts, pulling in $43.6 million in April for his campaign. Combined with the $53 million figure he posted in March, Obama’s campaign looks to have around three times the funds of Reoublican challenger Mitt Romney.

Obama has started in earnest in May, already having pulled in almost $15 million during a Hollywood fundraiser held at actor George Clooney’s home. The record setting donations came on the eve of the president’s official support of gay marriage, a big issue in Hollywood.

“We had 169,500 first-time donors this April,” campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters via a Youtube video Wednesday. “This election is going to be close, given the historic challenges this country faced when the president came into office.”

On the GOP side, Romney’s campaign has been aided by “super” political action committees, which can raise funds independently to oppose Obama. American Crossroads is one of these groups backed by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove. The group’s nonprofit group, Crossroads GPS, has announced a $25 million dollar campaign of TV ads criticizing Obama in 10 states. The first ad will air on Thursday in Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Nevada. At a cost of $8 million, the 60 second TV spot will highlight Obama’s alleged mishandling of the economy.

Crossroads has raised approximately $100 million to aid Romney’s campaign. “Super PACs” are allowed to raise an unlimited amount of funds in support of any campaign as long as they do not coordinate fundraisers or planning directly with the campaign they support.

A long primary fight left Romney and the GOP with just $43 million at the end of March, while Obama’s campaign reported $124 million. The Democrats have already launched their own $25 million dollar ad campaign in swing states, attacking Romney’s past business ventures.

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