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Obama's coffers far fuller than Romney's as campaign entered final two months

(AP) WASHINGTON — At the end of August, President Obama had about $88.8 million to spend on the final months of the campaign, nearly twice as much as Republican rival Mitt Romney, according to campaign fundraising reports released Thursday.

While Romney's report showed he had $50.4 million to spend as of Aug. 31, he also owed $15 million on a $20 million loan taken that month.

The loan helped Romney pay for mailings, staff salaries and TV advertising — and it helped his finances appear healthier on paper. It also boosted his cash-on-hand total from $35.4 million — a number that's closer to a third of Mr. Obama's haul.

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While Romney raised about $66.6 million in August to Mr. Obama's $84.7 million, the $20 million loan boosts Romney's total receipts to $86.6 million, slightly higher than his Democratic opponent's take.

Both Romney and Mr. Obama spent about as much as they raised during the month of August. Romney spent about $66.4 million, while Mr. Obama spent about $83.7 million.

Romney and the Republican Party raised more than $111 million combined. That was less than Mr. Obama and the Democrats, who raised more than $114 million.

Romney took out a $20 million loan in late August, in the days before his campaign had access to funds they had raised for the general election, because he was not yet the official nominee. He used general election money as collateral for the loan.

The new report shows he paid back $5 million before the end of August. The campaign said it had paid back an additional $4 million in September, although that data won't be publicly recorded until next month.