President Barack Obama raised nearly twice as much as likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney in April, but the pro-Romney Restore Our Future won the battle of the Super PACs.
Flexing his incumbent muscle, Obama pulled in $25.7 million -- a substantial drop of about $10 million compared to his March take, but still more than double Romney's $11.7 million March haul. Those numbers do not include money raised via party groups like the Republican or Democratic national committees.
When it came to Super PACs -- third-party entities that can raise and spend without limit but cannot coordinate with campaigns -- the results flipped (despite the prohibition of Super PACs working with candidates, Obama and Romney both have a Super PAC that raises money and deploys political advertisements on their behalf).
Restore Our Future, a Super PAC backing Romney, raised $4.6 in April. That actually represents a low point for Restore Our Future and is a little more than half of the organization's $8.7 million March total, a discrepancy reflecting the fact that Romney spent March trying to dispatch his erstwhile Republican challengers. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have since halted their campaigns, and Ron Paul has announced he will stop actively campaigning.
Still, Restore Our Future outpaced the pro-Obama Priorities USA Super PAC, whose $1.6 million April haul was down from its $2.5 million total. Obama has reluctantly encouraged donors to contribute to the Super PAC after having been a vociferous opponent of the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that enabled Super PACs and spurred a flood of third-party money into political campaigns.
Meanwhile, Romney's former Republican rivals reported a significant amount of debt. Gingrich owed $4.8 million at the end of April, while Santorum was $2.3 million in debt.
American Crossroads, a conservative Super PAC whose sister organization Crossroads GPS just announced a $25 million advertising assault, said it raised $1.8 million in April but had $25.5 million to spend.