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Donation Gap Narrows Between Obama, Romney


Now let's talk about the money the campaigns themselves raise. All through the Republican primaries, President Obama's campaign raised far more money than Mitt Romney's campaign. But now the money gap is narrowing, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.

PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Both the Obama and Romney campaigns put out rough totals this week for their April fundraising. The Obama total exceeded $43 million. For Romney, it was more than $40.1 million. That marked a 20 percent drop for the Obama effort from its March total, and, more significant, it showed a March to April surge of 50 percent for Romney, a surge trigged partly by his success in the primaries, but also by an influx of big donor money that he couldn't access before.

That's because last month, presumptive nominee Romney could start doing what President Obama could do all along: that is, solicit money for his national party committee. While a donor can give the candidate's own committee $2,500 for the primaries and another $2,500 for the general election, the maximum to give to a join fundraising operation is a shade under $76,000 - $5,000 for the candidate, and the rest to be spread among the national party and various state committees.

The Romney campaign said that it and the Republican National Committee have combined cash on hand of more than $61 million. That's less than half of what the Obama operation reported a month ago. The complete reports for April, including the Obama cash on hand, are due to be released Sunday. Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Peter Overby has covered Washington power, money, and influence since a foresighted NPR editor created the beat in 1994.