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With-RomneyWASHINGTON: Republican Mitt Romney raised $85.9 million in the final weeks of the White House race, his campaign said Thursday, bringing the total spent on the presidential election to a record $2 billion.


"Romney Victory continued its strong fundraising through the final weeks of the campaign," finance chairman Spencer Zwick said in a statement.


The campaign said Thursday's filing with the Federal Election Commission showed the campaign has some $24.4 million in cash on hand, "but that number does not take into account spending currently in process."


The Romney campaign is processing pre-election invoices and forecasts it will have less than $1 million by the end of the year.


Zwick described the fundraising effort as "the most successful in Republican Party history," despite Obama eventually winning the election by more than three percent of the vote.


More than 91 percent of donations during the final period were $250 or less, and the campaign raised some $28 million from contributions under $250.


Team Romney's figures combine the fundraising of his campaign and that of the Republican National Committee.


The 2012 campaign was a fundraising record-breaker by all accounts.


According to campaign funds-tracking website Open Secrets, the two candidates, as well as unaffiliated outside groups, raked in a total of $1.96 billion as of October 17. Thursday's filing pushes that to $2.05 billion.


The Obama re-election campaign out-raised Romney's campaign by $632 million to $389 million prior to Thursday, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, operator of Open Secrets.


But outside groups supporting Romney raised $413 million compared to just $131 million raised by outside groups backing the president.


One of the pro-Romney super PACs, or political action committees, Restore Our Future, raised $22 million from October 18 to election day November 6, according to Open Secrets.


It said the largest last-minute donation to the group, an amount of $10 million, came from Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who pumped a reported $150 million in total into super PACs and other groups to help Republican candidates in the 2012 elections.


Restore Our Future's cascade of last-minute funds -- including $3 million from Oracle Corp. chief executive Larry Ellison -- helped pay for a $41.6 million advertising blitz in the campaign's ill-fated final weeks.


Official details on how money was spent by both parties during the period of October 18 to November 26 must be filed by Thursday's midnight deadline. Obama numbers had yet to be released.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012


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