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Inside Politics

Bush fund raising exceeds $200 million

Amount nearly double that of Kerry

CNN's John King on efforts to soften the Bush image.

CNN's Kelly Wallace on Kerry and the running-mate question.
America Votes 2004
John F. Kerry
George W. Bush

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush has raked in at least $203 million for his re-election campaign, close to double what his likely Democratic rival has raised, according to a CNN review of the Bush-Cheney campaign's donor database.

The amount is more than double the then-record $100 million Bush raised for his 2000 White House bid.

The Bush-Cheney campaign raised $15.6 million from roughly 180,000 individual contributions and $52,000 from political action committees in the month of April, raising an average of $709,000 per day, according to the donor list on the campaign Web site.

The campaign raised at least $1.8 million in the first week of May.

Last month, CNN reported that Bush had raised a total of $198 million through April 21, the latest available data at the time. Data is now available through May 5.

On the Democratic side, Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has raised roughly $110 million, including $25 million in April, according to campaign estimates.

For both campaigns, the totals raised date back to the candidate's official entry into the race. For Bush, that was May 2003; for Kerry it was December 2002.

Each campaign has until May 20 to submit reports to the Federal Election Commission detailing their fundraising and spending through the end of April.

Kerry on Friday played down the significance of Republican success at fund raising.

"Big surprise -- Republicans have more money than Democrats. But we have more people and more ideas," Kerry told reporters when asked about a study showing Bush has outspent Kerry in 48 states.

"Money is important to being able to get your message out, but money doesn't decide everything. "The American people are not for sale, this election is not for sale," Kerry said.

The Bush-Cheney campaign had no immediate comment on the latest numbers.

CNN's Robert Yoon, Mark H. Rodeffer and Heather Riley contributed to this report.

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