Big donations coming Romney's way

WASHINGTON — Of the big donors helping propel the fund-raising of US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, fewer than one per cent have hit the limit they can donate to his election bid, suggesting cash is likely to keep pouring into his coffers.

Only 40 donors have given $75,800 – the maximum individuals are allowed to give before the November 6 election – to the joint Victory fund that Romney shares with the Republican National Committees, according to a Reuters analysis of the fund’s first campaign finance filing submitted late on Sunday.

That is a drop in the bucket of some 19,000 named donors – those who have given a total of at least $200 and so triggered the threshold for federal disclosure. About 2,000 of those named donors to the Victory fund have given at least $25,000 but can give more before hitting the limit, the analysis showed.

Joint funds allow candidates to rake in much bigger cheques than are allowed for campaigns on their own.

Romney formed his Victory joint fund with the Republican National Committee in April when he first emerged as the presumed party nominee. Since then, the fund has received $140.3 million, almost all of it from donors giving more than $200.

Democratic President Barack Obama has seen 29 donors give the maximum amount this year to the fund he shares with the Democratic National Committee, out of a total of about 38,000 donors who had given at least $200 to the fund before the end of May, according to the latest available data.

In contrast with the prolific small-donor driven campaign that put Obama into the White House in 2008, the 2012 race is marked by a chase after contributors capable of five- or six-figure donations, as Democrats and Republicans are expected to invest some $1 billion each in this year’s campaigns.

Obama’s total haul of $552.5 million so far still has him ahead of Romney’s $394.9 million but the Republican challenger has drilled deep into the ranks of Wall Street and the wealthy, where many are disgruntled by what they see as Obama’s anti-business rhetoric and policies.

That reach has aided Romney’s fast-paced catch-up to Obama’s fund-raising. Usually, the advantage in this area is held by an incumbent over the presidential challenger.

The president’s campaign has been sounding alarms that he could be the first incumbent to be outspent. (Reuters)

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