THE RACE: Obama, Romney pick up fundraising pace
Both President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are sprinting through a gantlet of fundraisers as they race toward the party conventions just weeks away.
And it's taking them to some places where they probably wouldn't otherwise be spending much time seeking votes.
Romney campaigned Tuesday in the Chicago area, Obama's home turf. And Obama was raising funds in solidly Democratic Washington, D.C., at a hotel just two blocks from the White House. Those are hardly election battlegrounds for these candidates.
Obama makes frequent trips to New York City, also heavily Democratic, to raise cash. On Monday night, he had two fundraisers in nearby Connecticut.
In Stamford, he suggested his opponent's policies would benefit the wealthy at the expense of many middle-class families: "It's like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood."
As candidates, both Romney and Obama have no problem taking from the rich as well as seeking smaller contributions from everybody else.
There'll be less time for that after the Republican convention in late August and the Democratic one in early September. So both candidates are making the most of the dwindling dog days of summer to haul in cash.
After Labor Day, there will be more large-scale rallies, town hall meetings and other forms of retail politicking. Also, preparing for the three presidential debates will eat up time and attention.
Without a major primary opponent, Obama began with a much larger stash than Romney, who faced fierce GOP competition.
But for the past three months, Romney has out-raised the president, collecting just over $101 million in July to Obama's $75 million.
The pressure is on, since both opted out of accepting federal campaign funds, as Obama alone had done in 2008.
Of course, neither is ignoring battleground states. Romney was flying to Iowa late Tuesday and Obama will campaign Wednesday in Colorado.
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