By Alina Selyukh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised $106.1 million in June for his campaign and party, the campaign said on Monday, confirming a record fundraising month in the 2012 presidential campaign.
Romney's campaign said it had $160 million left in cash on hand at the end of last month, turning up the heat on Democratic President Barack Obama, who will not likely enjoy the dramatic cash advantage he had in the 2008 campaign.
Obama's campaign has yet to release its June numbers.
"This month's fundraising is a statement from voters that they want a change of direction in Washington," Spencer Zwick, Romney's finance chief, said in releasing the June haul. "In the months to come, these resources will be crucial to highlighting the difference between President Obama's broken promises and Mitt Romney's plan to get America on the right track again."
The November 6, 2012, election is poised to be the most expensive in U.S. history, as both campaigns rush to bring in as much cash as possible and rely on outside spending groups with no fundraising limits instead of public financing.
The June haul came in donations to Romney, the Republican National Committee and the Romney Victory fund the two use jointly.
It said about $22.3 million of the $106.1 million total came in donations of $250 or less. The campaign said those smaller donations, generally seen as a gauge for grassroots support, accounted for 94 percent of total donations, meaning much of the June cash came in a form of a few large contributions.
The Obama campaign has been urging its supporters to kick up giving since early May, when they started ringing alarm bells about the possibility of the president being the first incumbent about to be outspent in a re-election effort.
A Republican official last week said the Romney campaign had raised more than $100 million.
"Romney and the Republicans announced yesterday that they brought in more than $100 million in June ... We're still tallying our own numbers, but this means their gap is getting wider, and if it continues at this pace, it could cost us the election," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote in a fundraising email after that figure was leaked.
Romney's June haul was helped by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that upheld Obama's healthcare law - the Romney campaign has said it raised $4.6 million through 47,000 online donations in the 24 hours following the landmark ruling.
The Obama campaign has said it also raised a lot of money after the ruling but has not disclosed its figures.
In May, Romney outraised the president for the first time with $70.6 million, topping the more than $60 million Obama raised for his campaign and party.
At the end of May, Romney had $107 million left in cash on hand, bridging the gap fast to Obama's $109 million.
In 2008, Obama raised a record $748.6 million and far outpacing his Republican rival, John McCain, who was limited because he accepted public financing. McCain raised about $238 million and received $84 million in public financing.
Obama holds the monthly U.S. presidential campaign fundraising record of $150.7 million for September 2008.
The campaigns are due to officially file their financial disclosures for June by July 20.
(Editing by Doina Chiacu)
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