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Kerry raising more than Bush

Sen. John F. Kerry's fundraising receipts surged strongly ahead of President Bush's last month, with the presumptive Democratic nominee pulling in almost twice what the president raised.

At the same time, Bush's campaign is spending money at an unprecedented rate. In part because of a $50 million ad blitz in March and early April, Bush has spent nearly $130 million on his reelection effort, a record amount, according to reports that the campaign filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission. In April alone, his campaign spent almost $31 million to help counteract a series of negative news reports that have hurt the president's standing in the polls.

Kerry's fundraising haul of $30 million in April -- compared with the Bush campaign's $15.6 million -- marked the second consecutive month in which the Massachusetts senator's receipts have exceeded the president's, according to the two campaigns. Over the past two months, Kerry has attracted about $30 million more than Bush. The president did much of his fundraising last year and has stopped attending events to raise more for his campaign.

Bush still has a big advantage over Kerry in cash on hand -- about $71.6 million at the end of April, compared with Kerry's $28 million. But several independent observers say two factors could work in Kerry's favor: the accelerated pace of his fundraising and a likely decline in spending by the president over the next few months. Kerry's success in attracting donations has, in any case, obliterated the conventional wisdom of just a few months ago that the president would use his enormous financial strength to clobber his opponent with advertising, as President Bill Clinton did in 1996 against Robert J. Dole and as Bush did in 2000 against a cash-strapped Al Gore. -- In April, Kerry's Fundraising Nearly Doubled Bush's (washingtonpost.com)