Mitt Romney's $11.7 Million Raised In April Isn't The Whole Picture

WASHINGTON -- The presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced on May 17 that it had raised $40.1 million in April, when its fundraising is taken together with the funds raised by the Republican National Committee and a joint fundraising committee called Romney Victory. Only about half of that total was disclosed on Sunday when the Romney campaign and the RNC announced raising $11.7 million and $11.4 million, respectively, in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Without the disclosure of funds raised by the Romney Victory committee, it's hard to get a full understanding of how the presumptive Republican presidential nominee actually fared in the fundraising race in April. Basic math indicates that the victory committee has raised approximately $18 million. But because the joint fundraising committee is registered as disclosing quarterly, it will not publicly disclose the full extent of its fundraising until July 15. In the interim, this poses a problem for citizens and journalists tracking the money to the Romney campaign and the RNC.

It's also unclear where the totality of the estimated $18 million raised by the Romney Victory committee will go. The joint committee lists as participants: the Romney campaign, the RNC, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee, the Idaho Republican Party and the Oklahoma Leadership Council. Since the victory committee accepts contributions of up to $75,000, some of its fundraising cannot accrue directly to Romney's benefit, because only two of the organizations that could receive money from the joint fund will be spending money to aid Romney's campaign.

A cursory glance makes it seem that Romney's fundraising has dropped to its lowest amount since raising a paltry $6.5 million in January. But the Romney Victory committee could potentially add an additional couple million, if not more, for the month. Much of the victory committee's fundraising will go towards the RNC, as party committees can receive up to $30,800 per donor, as opposed to the maximum $5,000 that candidates can accept.

Still, the combined fundraising shows that Romney and the Republican Party will be able to maintain near parity with the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama. This will be a big change from 2008, when the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee combined to raise more than $1 billion, while Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and the RNC raised only $570 million.

One area where the RNC may be able to help the Romney campaign is in the small-donor department. Since the beginning of 2012, the RNC has consistently pulled in big sums from donors giving under $200 in aggregate. The Romney campaign, however, has struggled to raise money from small donors, having reported raising only 9 percent through March from those giving less than $200, according to the Campaign Finance Institute.

April was a better month for small-donor fundraising for the Romney campaign. Donors giving under $200 accounted for 21 percent of Romney's total contributions in April, the highest percentage for the campaign in any of their reports to the FEC. That number, however, would likely be lower if the Romney Victory committee's contributions could be calculated into Romney's April fundraising total.

The campaign's big source of support has been, and continues to be, big donors giving between $2,500 and $5,000 at a time. These max-out donors gave $5.36 million, or 46.8 percent, of April contributions reported by the Romney campaign.

The most commonly reported employers of donors to the Romney campaign in April were the usual suspects for presidential candidates: retired ($1,788,278), self-employed ($904,109) and homemaker ($743,342).

The campaign failed to obtain information from a very large pool of donors: Those who did not identify their employers were the second-biggest group giving to the Romney campaign, with $1,452,171 in contributions.

Some of those donors who failed to list employer information are notable executives, including Dwight Schar, a co-owner of the Washington Redskins and a former RNC finance chairman; David Novak, the CEO of Yum! Brands; Roger Simons, the head of Simons Petroleum and Edward Rust, CEO of State Farm Insurance.

Among the donors who did list an employer, there was no big stand-out in April. The most given by employees of a single employer was $27,900, from employees of consulting firm Deloitte. The second-biggest amount came from employees of hotel chain Marriott International, who gave $27,250.

Both J.W. and Richard Marriott, both well-known Mormons like Romney, are major donors to both the Romney campaign and the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future. The two have each contributed $1 million to Restore Our Future and maxed out to the Romney campaign.