Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and an allied super-political action committee spent about $7 million a day during the final three weeks of his unsuccessful campaign to defeat President Barack Obama.
Romney’s campaign committee reported to the Federal Election Commission today that it spent $100 million between Oct. 18 and Nov. 6, and the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future spent $44 million. That combined total of $144 million averaged $7.2 million on each of the 20 days from Oct. 18 to Nov. 6.
While the super-PAC emptied its bank account and had less than $1 million remaining, Romney’s campaign committee reported a balance of almost $13 million as of Nov. 26. A campaign spokeswoman, Gail Gitcho, said bills yet to be paid will absorb virtually all of the unspent cash.
Including money spent after the election to pay off bills, Romney spent $466 million. His expenditures included $2.1 million to pay off most of a loan the campaign took out in August to cover campaign spending until he formally became the party’s nominee. The last payment whittled down the $20 million loan to $1.2 million.
Romney, the first Republican presidential nominee to decline federal funding for his general election campaign since the Watergate-era public financing system was put in place for the 1976 race, raised $66 million during the campaign’s final weeks, including $33 million transferred from a joint account with the Republican National Committee and some state parties. That brought his fundraising total to $479 million.
The pro-Romney super-PAC’s spending during the final three weeks of the campaign represented 31 percent of the $143 million it spent to help the former Massachusetts governor’s candidacy.
Restore Our Future had about $840,000 left in its account as of Nov. 26 after raising a total of $154 million. Beyond the cash spent to support Romney’s bid, the group incurred about $9 million in administrative costs.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., and his wife Miriam each gave $5 million to the super-PAC, bringing their total contributions to the group to $30 million. Lawrence Ellison, chief executive officer of Redwood City, California- based Oracle Corp., contributed $3 million.
Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans football team, gave $1 million, as did New York-based Renco Group Inc., whose subsidiaries include Humvee manufacturer AM General LLC. Both contributors earlier donated $1 million apiece to the super-PAC.
Obama won re-election with 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. The super-PAC backing the president’s candidacy, Priorities USA Action, spent $19 million in the last three weeks of the campaign on ads, bringing its total political spending to $65 million, less than half of the pro-Romney PAC.
The pro-Obama PAC reported $4.3 million in the bank as of Nov. 26. It raised $79 million in total, about half of the pro- Romney group.
James Simons, chairman of Renaissance Technologies Corp., an East Setauket, New York-based hedge fund, contributed $1.5 million, bringing his total to $5 million; and media executive Fred Eychaner, a longtime donor to Democrats, gave $1 million, bringing his total to $4 million.
The Laborers’ Union donated $1 million, and the PAC received $500,000 apiece from unions representing teachers, communications workers, electrical workers and letter carriers.
FEC filings also showed the National Republican Senatorial Committee apparently reversing its opposition to aiding the Senate campaign of Representative Todd Akin of Missouri.
The NRSC sent $760,000 in the first two days of November to the Missouri Republican Party to help pay for television ads benefiting Akin, who lost to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill by 16 points after saying in August that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy.
Republicans pressed Akin to leave the race, and the NRSC Chairman, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, said the Senate Republican fundraising arm wouldn’t help the nominee. “We’re done,” Cornyn said in a September interview. An NRSC spokesman, Brian Walsh, declined to comment tonight.
Separately, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed $50,000 on Nov. 5 -- a day before voters went to the polls -- to a super-PAC affiliated with Emily’s List, which raises money to elect Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Bloomberg is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
The mayor gave about $10 million to his super-PAC, Independence USA PAC, which paid for more than $8.2 million on advertising and mail in five House districts.
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