WASHINGTON -- Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and his party raised a sizable $40 million last month from donors. But even as Romney solidifies his position as the eventual GOP nominee, many supporters who backed his primary election challengers have not come to his aid.
Only a few hundred donors who contributed to candidates like Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum gave to Romney's campaign or the Republican Party in April, according to financial reports released Sunday.
Romney is hardly hurting for cash, having reported more than $61 million in the bank by the end of April. But it may be a struggle for Romney to persuade his party's more conservative donors to open their wallets for him, though Election Day is months away.
Out of more than 50,000 donors who gave to other GOP candidates like Gingrich, Santorum and Gov. Rick Perry since the start of the nomination race, fewer than 600 appeared to write checks to Romney in April, the AP's review of Federal Election Commission reports found.
Roughly the same number contributed to the Republican National Committee, which is now helping Romney's campaign.
Wealthy donors like former Santorum supporter Foster Friess now support Romney.
Other conservatives, however, have been warier. One blog post last week on the conservative RedState.com, referring to a recent Romney speech, asked: "Mr. Romney said that marriage is between one man and one woman. He got deafening applause. But where was he when it mattered?"
April's financial reports, due to the FEC by midnight Sunday, showed that Obama and the Democratic Party brought in a combined $43.6 million last month. Obama's campaign has had to raise funds aggressively to answer ads from conservative super PACs.
Romney's fundraising bounty doesn't include the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into GOP super PACs. On Sunday, the Romney-supportive Restore Our Future said it raised $4.6 million last month, leaving the group with $8.2 million cash on hand.
Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash but can't coordinate with the candidates they support. GOP groups have largely outraised their Democratic counterparts.