Obama has bigger bankroll than Romney for sprint to Election Day

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President Barack Obama has about $88 million available to spend for the presidential campaign’s final stretch, giving him a sizable cash-on-hand advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Obama filed monthly finance documents today with the Federal Election Commission. The documents show his campaign spent more than $83 million last month as he battled for an advantage in the tightly contested race.

Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised about $114 million in August. That gave Obama a narrow edge over Romney and Republicans after having trailed the GOP in fundraising for three straight months.

The combined cash on hand for Obama and the DNC is slightly more than $125 million.

At the end of August, Republican Mitt Romney had about $50.4 million to spend on the final months of the campaign, though reports released today showed he owed $15 million on a loan taken that month.

Romney took out a $20 million loan in late August, in the days before his campaign had access to funds they had raised for the general election because he was not yet the official nominee. The new reports show he paid back $5 million before the end of August.

Romney won’t have to release his September fundraising data until next month. Campaign officials have said he paid back an additional $4 million on the loan this month.

The loan helped Romney pay for mailings, staff salaries and TV advertising — and it helped his finances appear healthier on paper. It boosted his total receipts to $86.6 million from the $66.6 million the campaign otherwise took in. Romney in fact spent almost as much as he raised during the month of August.

The loan boosted his cash-on-hand total from $35.4 million to $50.4 million.

Romney couldn’t spend money raised for the general election until becoming his party’s nominee in late August. He used general election money as collateral for the loan.

Material from the Associated Press is used in this report.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.