WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Democrats pulled slightly ahead of Mitt Romney and Republicans in monthly fundraising in August for the first time in four months.
Obama raised more than $114 million in August and Romney brought in just over $111 million. The two campaigns announced their fundraising numbers early Monday.
It's a sharp increase for Obama, who raised $75 million in July. That had been the third straight month he and the Democratic Party trailed Romney and the GOP in monthly fundraising.
Obama's campaign said more than 1.1 million people donated to the campaign in August, bringing its total number of donors to more than 3 million. The average donation was $58 and 98 percent of those who donated gave $250 or less.
"The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did that substantially in the month of August," said Jim Messina, Obama's campaign spokesman.
Romney's campaign did not release its total number of donors in August, but said about 94 percent of its donations came from people who gave $250 or less.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country's problems. That is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country," Romney's national finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a joint statement.
Obama reversed a three-month trend at the time he needs it most, having spent heavily over the summer on advertising in an attempt to hold Romney at bay. Both candidates are claiming momentum coming out of their national conventions over the past two weeks.
Despite Obama's advantage in August, it's the third straight month Romney has raised more than $100 million, and the figure represents his best one-month fundraising total. And Romney has socked away more cash for the general election campaign.
Associated Press writer Tom Beaumont in Boston contributed to this report.