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Mitt Romney gets edge on Obama in cash contest

By David Usborne in Washington

Mitt Romney, who has built his political brand partly on his record as a master money maker, is showing similar strength as a campaign fundraiser with new figures showing him opening a daunting cash advantage over US President Barack Obama.

Latest disclosure filings by the competing camps in this year's presidential race show that as of the end of July, Mr Romney and the Republican National Committee had $186m compared to a more modest $124m for the Obama campaign.

Accurately assessing the cash battle is difficult, however, because it is not just the finances of the campaigns that have to be considered but also the towering sums being spent by outside organisations on their behalves, notably the so-called super PACs as well as other tax-exempt groups.

Put those into the mix and the Republican edge looks even larger. Mr Obama's reserves are lower also by virtue of heavy spending in recent weeks to pay for groundwork operations notably in the 20-odd battleground states and for intensive TV advertising.

Mr Romney remains behind Mr Obama in most swing-state polling, if only by fairly small margins.

"Romney will have the resources needed to run a vigorous fall campaign and force the president to compete in states he never thought he'd need to defend," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said.

(© Independent News Service)

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