President Obama and the Democratic National Committee jointly raised $114 million in August, topping the record $111.6 million haul for challenger Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee. It is the first time since April that Obama has raised more than Romney, but Romney and the RNC still have more cash on hand, with $168.5 million at the beginning of September, and a big lead in outside money being spent on their behalf by friendly super PACs. Obama and the DNC say 317,000 first-time donors fueled their August surge, and that 98 percent of donations were $250 or less, with the average check $58; Romney and the RNC said a third of their haul, $34.6 million, came from donations of $250 or less. Obama has also opened up a post-convention lead in the polls.
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