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Trump, Republicans raised $247.8 million in September: campaign manager

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. Picture taken September 29, 2020. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is lagging his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in fundraising in the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to figures released by his campaign manager.

Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee started the last full month before the Nov. 3 election with $251.4 million cash on hand after raising $247.8 million in September, campaign manager Tim Murtaugh tweeted late on Thursday.

The intake was around $135 million less than former Vice President Biden raised in September. But it was greater than the $210 million raised in August as Trump seeks a second term.

“President Trump hits final stretch with strength, resources, record & huge ground game needed to spread message and secure re-election,” Murtaugh wrote.

Biden and his party have hauled in record amounts of cash. Biden brought in $383 million in September, setting a new record for a U.S. campaign for the second consecutive month. He is also leading Trump in national opinion polls.

At the same time, Democratic fundraising organization ActBlue said on Thursday it collected $1.5 billion online from July to September, the most it had ever raised in one quarter. By comparison, major Republican fundraising platform WinRed said on Monday that it collected $623.5 million in the same period.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Frances Kerry