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Obama out-raising Romney

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's re-election effort enjoyed a 10-to-1 financial edge over Republican rival Mitt Romney last month, out-raising the former Massachusetts governor by millions as Obama stuffed more than $104 million into his campaign war chest.

A nasty primary battle between Romney and his GOP rivals took a financial toll on his presidential campaign, which raised $12.6 million in March and left Romney with about $10 million in the bank by month's end. All told, Obama and the Democratic Party raised a combined $53 million in donations during that period, while Romney with his party pulled in about half that, according to regulatory filings that were due Friday.

Still, an anticipated fire hose of cash from major Republican political committees and the Republican Party is likely to bring some financial parity to the general election, for which Romney only recently started collecting donations. Super PACs like American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, raised $100 million this election cycle, and the groups plan to flood the airwaves in coming months with ads critical of Obama.

Also helping Romney is the Restore Our Future super PAC, which reported raising $8.6 million last month, largely from a handful of wealthy donors and some continued supporters. The group, for its part, spent more than $11 million on TV spots during the month, coming off a successful track record of battering Romney's GOP primary opponents with attack ads.

The Republican National Committee reported a March fundraising haul of $13.7 million, which will boost the eventual GOP nominee during the general election.

Obama's fundraising puts him in a less-than-solid position when compared with the tens of millions of dollars the sister Crossroads groups have amassed so far. During the last six months of 2011, GPS brought in $28 million from only a few dozen major donors, recent tax filings show. Crossroads has said it plans to raise more than $300 million to beat Obama.

Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by former Obama advisers, and its nonprofit arm raised about $10 million from early 2011 through the end of February.

The largest March contribution to the pro-Romney Restore Our Future was $1 million from Huron Carbon Llc. of West Palm Beach, Fla., which shares a street and suite address with Oxbow Carbon Llc., a fossil-fuel processor and mining firm headed by energy magnate William Koch.

Richard and J.W. "Bill" Marriott, hotel industry magnates whose family is close to the Romneys, also contributed $250,000 each to Restore Our Future.