WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney held a financial advantage over President Barack Obama heading into October thanks to strong fundraising by the Republican Party that will allow its candidate to spend more on the last stretch toward the Nov. 6 election.

Campaign finance disclosures show the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee and the fund they use jointly had $183.1 million in cash on hand at the end of September, more than Obama and the Democratic Party, who had $149.1 million.

Obama's campaign on its own has dwarfed Romney's in the money stakes in recent months, raising $136.2 million in September, according to a Reuters tally of latest reports. The Romney campaign alone raised much less: $76.1 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

But when taken together with the RNC, Romney had more to spend on advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts as the campaign entered its last lap with the two men running neck and neck in polls.

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