In the 24/7 war of raising big bucks to obliterate the other side and win the White House, presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney again had a better month that President Barack Obama:
Mitt Romney outraised President Obama by more than $25 million in July, according to numbers released Monday by the campaigns.
Romney’s campaign announced it raised $101.3 million, while Obama’s team said in a tweet that it brought in $75 million.
The gap is slightly smaller than it was in June, when Romney raised $106 million and Obama brought in $71 million, but it’s the second-straight month that Romney has pulled in nine figures and the third-straight month he has outraised the incumbent president.
The fundraising numbers are split between the candidates’ campaign committees, their respective national party committees and joint fundraising committees that raise money for both entities.
Romney’s campaign said the three combined had $185.9 million in the bank at the end of July; Obama’s team did not announce a cash on hand figure.
At the start of July, Romney had $170 million on hand, compared to $144 million for Obama, whose campaign has spent heavily on ads early in the general election campaign. Just three months before, Obama had a $90 million edge in cash on hand.
The money that will be raised — and spent in ads that’ll hammer the other side — is unprecedented. And NBC’s First Read wonders if there will be a saturation point:
*** Reaching the saturation point: Last week, the campaigns, political parties, and outside interest groups spent almost $40 million in TV ads in the presidential contest, according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta. And this week, with the Americans for Prosperity $25 million buy for the next month (which breaks out to some $5 million per week), that number could very well jump up to $45 million or $50 million — in August. And in just 8-12 battleground states. We often struggle to find the words to describe UNBELIEVABLE amounts of money being spent on this presidential race. But close to $50 million in a week is absolutely stunning. It’s also unchartered territory. Are there diminishing returns on this advertising? Do ads become less effective? How do you break through the clutter? We just don’t know. But here’s one thing we do know: At some point, no matter how much more water you put on a towel, it becomes harder to make it wetter. That’s why they call it saturation.
I suspect many voters — particularly swing voters — will become more cynical than ever about the attack ads. In the end, they’ll weigh where they feel the country is, where they feel it is going and who they feel they can trust to take them on a the path that the candidate describes. It will come down to likability and trustworthiness for many swing voters (not what’s said on MSNBC or Fox News).