Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee brought in more than $170 million in September, coming close to matching President Obama's record $181 million haul last month. Romney's previous high water mark was $111 million, in August. USA Today has more:
Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised nearly $170.5 million last month, about $11 million less than President Obama and his Democratic allies. Romney and various GOP committees say they have about $191.2 million cash on hand. The Romney campaign says 93.1% of its donations came in denominations of $250 or less. That represented more than 1 million contributions, the campaign says. Under campaign finance rules, donations of $200 or less are considered "small" donations. Romney has traditionally raised the bulk of his campaign funds in chunks of $2,500 -- the maximum amount an individual can contribute to one election.
The announcement kicked off a three-day retreat for donors at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel, where the campaign is seeking to capitalize on a burst of enthusiasm among formerly jittery donors — who were thrilled by Mr. Romney’s strong first debate performance — to recruit new donors and persuade old ones to give the maximum allowed by law. Donors, who will be treated to a Debate Watch Party at the Roseland Ballroom featuring the comedian Dennis Miller, will also spend part of the retreat working the phones in a miniature call-a-thon intended to wring out as many last-minute dollars as possible. The effort will mark an unprecedented experiment in last-minute high-dollar fund-raising by a presidential campaign...The three-day retreat in New York is a follow-up event to the star-studded “Republicanpalooza” the campaign held in June in Park City, Utah.
The $50,000 entrance fee, which most of the donors long ago raised, gets Mr. Romney’s “Founding Partners and Members” and “Stars and Stripes” club members into a dinner Monday night at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, as well as a packed day of panels Tuesday. Headliners at the Intrepid dinner include Representative Paul D. Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate; Rudolph W. Guiliani, former mayor of New York City; Reince Preibus, the Republican National Committee chairman, Donald Trump; and Mr. Zwick. Mr. Ryan is also hosting his own cocktail and photo reception Monday afternoon at the Hilton New York — $1,000 per person and $5,000 for a photo.
As for Chicago's radio silence over cash on hand figures, a Republican strategist concedes that they're not required to disclose that number. That being said, he says the decision to withhold the figure is "never a sign of strength."
UPDATE - Whoa, Romney's debate performance had a major impact with small donors. This is from small contributors alone:
In Sep Romney raised $170mil. 1st 2 weeks of Oct, raised over $27mil online in low $’s alone- better than any MONTH so far.— Andrea Saul (@andreamsaul) October 15, 2012
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography