McCain has $47M to spend in Oct.

October 20, 2008 9:04:13 AM PDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain spent $37 million in September, leaving him $47 million for the campaign in October.McCain's monthly financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows he spent nearly two-thirds of his money - $22.5 million - on advertising as he tried to keep up with rival Barack Obama's ad blitz in battleground states.

McCain is no longer raising money because he is participating in the presidential election public financing system. He received $84.1 million in early September from the federal treasury and cannot exceed that amount in spending between early September and Election Day Nov. 4.

McCain's numbers stand in sharp contrast to Obama's. The Democratic nominee is not participating in public financing and raised a record-shattering $150 million in September.

Obama has been outspending McCain this month in advertising by a ratio of about 4-1. McCain has received significant help from the Republican National Committee, which raised $66 million in September.

The party can spend up to $19 million in coordination with the campaign. The party and McCain have also split the costs of "hybrid" ads that criticize Obama as well as Democrats in Congress. Those hybrid ads have allowed McCain to get a broader reach for some of the $22.5 million McCain spent on ads in September, but it was not disclosed how much of the $22.5 million went into these hybrid ads.

The RNC has also set up an independent expenditure operation to run ads that help McCain, but which cannot be coordinated with the candidate's campaign. The RNC budgeted about $18 million for those types of ads during the final two-week stretch of the campaign.

In a sign of its tighter budget, the campaign cut back its travel spending in September to about $1.7 million compared to the $3 million it spent in August. Its payroll costs remained roughly the same at $1.2 million.

The campaign borrowed $7 million from a separate campaign compliance fund to cover advertising and air charter costs incurred in early September before McCain received the $84 million from the federal government. The compliance fund is used to pay for legal costs associated with McCain's participation in public financing and to meet legal requirements of campaign finance law.

The campaign repaid the loan later in the month.

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