WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's presidential campaign entered the home stretch of the election with $169 million in cash on hand.
The campaign announced Thursday morning that along with the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the joint fundraising Romney Victory committee, it had raised a total of $111.8 million from Oct. 1 through Oct. 17. Combined, the three committees had $169 million left.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering a vision for the country that will finally bring a real recovery to the American people," Spencer Zwick, the Romney campaign's national finance chairman, said in a statement. "Their plan will bring much needed change after the last four years and it is why we have seen such momentum and strong support from our donors. There are less than two weeks left, but we still have much hard work to do to ensure that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win in November and bring real change to Washington."
The question remains how the GOP presidential nominee will be spending this stash of money. Through September, the campaign had invested little in field organization and on-the-ground staff to get out the vote. A Huffington Post report found that Democratic state parties in the most important swing states were far better funded than their Republican counterparts -- $101 million to $52 million -- allowing the Democrats to employ 3,000 paid staff in September compared to just 601 for the Republicans.
The Romney campaign and the RNC began to make larger investments in these swing-state parties in the first few weeks of October. The North Carolina Republican Party and the Virginia Republican Party each received $4.5 million from the RNC, doubling their takes for the entire campaign.
For its part, the Obama campaign never really deactivated its get-out-the-vote effort after the 2008 campaign and has kept its state teams of paid organizers and unpaid volunteers well financed for the past 22 months.
The Romney campaign will surely spend a good portion of its hoarded cash on television ads, which are flooding swing-state media markets in never-before-seen quantities. In Washington, D.C., broadcast stations have adjusted their programming schedules to run more local news programs, a favorite of political advertisers. But wall-to-wall advertising could bring diminishing returns for the campaigns as their ads get tuned out by overwhelmed voters.
In Thursday's announcement, the Romney campaign touted its ability to bring in smaller donations. It said that 91 percent of all donations received from Oct. 1 to Oct. 17 were $250 or less, accounting for a total of $38 million.
Both the Romney and Obama campaigns will officially file campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission later on Thursday.