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GOP groups now ahead in fund-raising

The Washington Post reports: With an overall fundraising advantage from the beginning of the presidential campaign, Republicans moved far more cautiously than Democrats to invest in 527 groups, but with the election just weeks away, groups aligned with the GOP are outspending their Democratic counterparts on radio and television by 6 to 1.

Allies of President Bush have focused the efforts of their 527 groups on advertising, and the two leading pro-Republican groups -- Progress for America and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- have played a key role in efforts to undermine Democratic nominee John F. Kerry's credentials as a Vietnam War hero and as someone capable of defending the country against terrorist attacks.

"I'd give the Republican 527s the 'more bang for the buck award,' that's for sure," said Democratic consultant Bill Carrick.

During the spring and summer, two Democratic groups, The Media Fund and MoveOn.org, outspent Republicans on advertising by a large margin. But since late August, Republican 527s running television and radio commercials have raised $48.2 million, compared with $7.8 million by Democratic groups, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission. -- After Late Start, Republican Groups Jump Into the Lead (washingtonpost.com)