Presidential fundraising numbers poised to skyrocket

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The latest financial numbers are coming out Friday from the campaigns of President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — along with the superPACs that love them.

First, the easy numbers: $53 million was raised in March to re-elect Obama and $12.6 million was raised by the Romney campaign to win the Republican primaries.

But those easy numbers don't give a complete picture.

For one thing, the Obama number is the total for a rather complex campaign structure — the president's campaign committee, the Democratic National Committee and the Swing State Victory Fund, which sends money to state Democratic parties in the dozen or so battlegrounds.

The legal limit for anyone giving to the Obama campaign committee is $5,000. The limit for all of those entities is nearly $76,000.

Romney is building a similar structure, now that he's finishing up the GOP primary season. He's also just starting to solicit his primary donors to give again.

That's one reason the fundraising numbers are about to shoot skyward.

Another reason: the superPACs, with their ability to raise unlimited contributions.

The pro-Republican Crossroads organization, co-founded by strategist Karl Rove, says it has raised just under $100 million since January 2011.

Only some of that is disclosed. The superPAC, American Crossroads, files monthly reports. Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group, isn't required to.

There's also a superPAC supporting Romney, which raised $50 million to carpet-bomb the other primary candidates. But its report Friday shows its cash on hand at a relatively small $6.5 million.

The Obama team has a superPAC too. But it's best-known for its paltry fundraising. Obama started encouraging his supporters to help the superPAC, and its filing Friday night will show how well that's working. The filing deadline is midnight.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio.

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