POLITICS
10/22/2012 02:59 pm ET Updated Oct 22, 2012

Romney Transfers Money To Allied Committees While Obama Hoards It

WASHINGTON -- The Mitt Romney campaign victory fund has transferred a total of $6 million to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $6 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to campaign finance records.

The latest transfers came during the month of September, when the NRSC and the NRCC each received $4.5 million in funds from the Romney campaign victory fund.

The transfers contrast sharply with President Barack Obama's strategy, which has been to more or less let allied campaign committees fend for themselves. They illustrate how election law constraints and broader strategic visions have affected each candidate's relationship to others in his party during the 2012 election.

In the grand scheme of things, it's difficult to game out how much each party stands to gain from its presidential nominee sharing or not sharing his resources. GOP Senate candidates could certainly use the cash infusion, as Republicans in several critical races currently face a larger polling deficit than Romney does. In addition, Romney seems likely to have more than enough money to spend on his own campaign going into the final two weeks of the race.

But so does Obama. And his decision not to shift funds to allied committees suggests either that his advisers have calculated that the president's reelection is too important to take the risk, or that they feel that if he does well, it will ultimately help down-ballot races.

"Our unrivaled field program benefits Democrats up and down the ticket," said one Obama aide.

Grumblings about the Obama campaign's approach have been kept private so far, partly because the presidential contest is far closer than it was in 2008 and partly because Obama's cash advantage has been eliminated.

Romney has been able to achieve fundraising parity, in part, by raising massive sums through his victory fund. That fund has several different state parties and campaign committees under its umbrella, which means that some of the money Romney raises for it has to be shifted elsewhere. Obama has raised money through his victory fund too, but to a lesser extent. His fund has sent cash to state parties and party committees that have worked primarily to help his campaign.

Even with Romney's latest transfers to the NRSC and NRCC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has managed to outpace its counterpart. Still, $6 million could go a long way in many of the more hotly contested races.

The politics of their varying strategies are telling. The president has appeared alongside several Senate candidates, and has endorsed at least one of them -- Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Vice President Joe Biden has raised funds for Senate Democrats as well.

But Obama hasn't cut advertisements for any candidates, which is something Mitt Romney recently did for Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the state's Republican Senate nominee.

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