Election 2012: Romney nearly doubles Obama's fundraising in SW Florida

When it comes to the economy, half of Americans in a new poll say it won't matter much whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the presidential election. (AP Photo/Scott Applewhite, left, and Evan Vucci, file)

When it comes to the economy, half of Americans in a new poll say it won't matter much whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the presidential election. (AP Photo/Scott Applewhite, left, and Evan Vucci, file)

Southwest Floridians donated more than $652,000 to presidential candidates over a three-month period in 2012.

But experts said it comes as no surprise that nearly two-thirds that went into Mitt Romney's war chest.

A Daily News analysis of individual donations made to the Federal Elections Commission in the second quarter — April 1 through June 30 — showed locals donated almost twice as much to Romney as they did to President Barack Obama, his Democratic counterpart, during the same time period.

That trend mirrors a national one that shows the presumptive Republican nominee is poised to raise more money than Obama this election cycle.

Click here to see who donated to the campaigns

"That is a huge win for Mitt Romney," said John Knowles, an election expert and Ave Maria School of Law spokesman.

"When people were looking forward to the race, everyone was saying Obama would raise a billion dollars. But we're looking at a situation where (Romney) is outraising the president, his burn rate is slower and he's projected to beat Obama in fundraising."

Romney received $424,585 in donations from Southwest Florida in the second three months of 2012. Obama, on the other hand, received $227,650 in donations during that same time frame.

Those sums reflect contributions from supporters in Bonita Springs, Estero, Marco Island and Naples.

"Those are outstanding results for Gov. Romney in Southwest Florida," said Knowles. "I anticipate that trend will continue."

Obama and his allied Democratic National Committee committees raised $71 million in June. That sum fell short of the $106 million Romney and the Republicans raised in the same time period.

Romney's haul was the second time in history that an American campaign and its partner committees passed the $100 million mark and signals the 2012 GOP presidential fundraising could break Obama's 2008 record of more than $745 million.

The June numbers also mark the second consecutive month Obama trailed Romney in fundraising.

While Obama lagged behind Romney in local fundraising, Susan MacManus, a political science professor at University of South Florida in Tampa, said that won't stop the campaign from trying to drum up support, and donations, from Southwest Floridians.

MacManus pointed to a recent two-day campaign swing through the state. While the second day of campaigning was ultimately canceled, MacManus said last week spending that much time in Florida sends a signal to voters.

"That is important to generate contributions," MacManus said last week. "Florida ... has long been considered a cash cow."

That won't change, either. MacManus said she expects contributions will continue to roll in until Election Day.

"It's not going to slow down at all," she said.

This article contains material from The Associated Press.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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