Obama raises more money than Romney in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama notched a win in the battle for campaign cash for the first time in four months, raising more money than Mitt Romney in August as the candidates gear up for the final stretch of their closely-contested campaign.

With Election Day less than two months away, Obama is also picking up a lead of a few percentage points over Romney in several daily tracking polls, but the race remains a very tight one that most voters say depends on which candidate they feel is best prepared to revive the struggling U.S. economy. Obama appeared to have benefited from last week’s Democratic National Convention and speeches by his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, and former President Bill Clinton, but post-convention bumps in poll numbers tend to be fleeting.

Obama raised more than $114 million in August, while Romney brought in just over $111 million, according to numbers released early Monday by the rival campaigns. It’s a sharp increase for the president, who raised $75 million in July.

While incumbent presidents normally raise more money than their challengers, Obama and his supporters have struggled to match the fundraising prowess of Romney and his allies. Despite Obama’s fundraising advantage in August, Romney has collected more than $100 million for the third straight month, and the figure represents his best one-month fundraising total. And the Republican nominee has socked away more money for the general election campaign.
Romney showed signs of taking a new, more centrist tack toward health care and defense spending as he starts the next leg of his campaign with a Monday rally in Ohio, a pivotal battleground state in the state-by-state battle for the presidency. Obama, who spent the weekend campaigning in Florida, is scheduled to be at the White House.

After weeks of pushing conservative Republican themes leading up to the party convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney’s less partisan tone comes as the race shifts toward the Nov. 6 election, which is expected to be decided in fewer than 10 states where neither Romney nor Obama has a significant advantage.

Romney’s views on health care are starkly different than Obama’s. They include major changes to the federal Medicare insurance program for Americans over age 65. Adopting the position of his conservative running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney has called for giving retirees a government payment that they could use to spend on traditional Medicare or a private insurance plan.

Romney said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would keep in place elements of Obama’s landmark federal health-care law signed in 2010.

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