If campaign cash were the same as votes — and there’s often a strong correlation between the two — you could consider the presidential race in Maine just about over.

President Obama has out-raised his likely Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, among Maine supporters by more than 10 to 1, taking in more than $1 million so far, compared to less than $100,000 for Romney. The numbers come from the latest campaign finance reports, which include contributions through March 31.

The $96,115 that Romney has raised from Mainers so far earns him third place in the state, just behind Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has raised $101,686 and came close to beating Romney in the Republican presidential preference poll at February’s caucuses. The other top Republican candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, raised $22,050 and $15,010, respectively, from the people of Maine.

Nationally, Obama has benefitted from strong fundraising, bringing in $197 million through the end of March, compared to $87 million for Romney. He’s also benefitted from not having to wage a primary campaign, ending the month with $104 million in the bank, versus about $10 million in the bank for Romney.

Obama’s ability to get Mainers to loosen their wallets goes beyond his own campaign. Last month, he came to Maine for two fundraising events. In the first, he packed a gymnasium at Southern Maine Community College with 1,700 boisterous supporters who donated between $44 and $100 each to the campaign to listen to the president. Afterward, at a more sedate and smaller event at the Portland Museum of Art, Obama raised money for the Democratic National Committee. About 130 donors paid a minimum of $5,000 — and up to $30,000 — for dinner and brief remarks from Obama.

Obama’s campaign raised nearly $70,000 from Mainers on March 30 and 31, the day of his visit and the next day, but the campaign reports don’t indicate if the money came from people buying tickets to the fundraiser or if it just happened to be money that was donated at that same time. Sometimes, the donations are handled by a third party and not turned over to the campaign until later, which means the money might not be included in the latest reports because of the March 31 deadline.

Most analysts see the financial support for Obama in Maine as a precursor of what will happen at the ballot box in November.

“Maine certainly has been leaning Democratic in recent presidential elections,” said John Baughman, associate professor of politics at Bates College. “(Obama) has to feel fairly confident about Maine at this point.”

Maine has gone Democratic in the last five presidential elections and while Romney’s New England ties may help him, it would take a really strong campaign and an economic slowdown to overcome Obama here, said Brian Duff, University of New England associate professor of political science .

“Unless something really changes, it would be a big surprise if Maine were to go for Romney,” he said.

As a result, the Obama and Romney campaigns may look to Maine more as a place to raise funds than to stump for votes.

“In a kind of dispiriting way, Maine could have more impact in this presidential race in terms of the money Mainers cough up than in any political campaigning,” Duff said. “There are fewer and fewer legitimate swing states, and the campaigns are getting better and better at focusing just on those states.”

While not a wealthy state overall, Maine has its share of potential donors. “We have a small subset of people with very deep pockets,” Duff said.

Duff said the president’s recent trip to Maine was a good demonstration of that.

The campaign finance reports provide some interesting information beyond the money. For instance, Portland residents provided most of the donations for Obama, which is not surprising, given that it’s the state’s biggest city and a Democratic stronghold.

Cape Elizabeth was the second biggest source of Obama funds, followed by Falmouth, Brunswick and Camden. Nearly a quarter of the money Obama has raised among Mainers has come from those describing themselves as retired, followed by lawyers and homemakers.

The chief sources of financial support for Romney have been, in order, Gray, Cumberland-Foreside, Portland, Scarborough and South Freeport. His top supporters were listed as retired, lawyers, homemakers and those in real estate.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

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