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President Barack Obama collected $45 million for his re-election bid in February, accelerating his fundraising pace as his campaign frets over an oncoming spending blitz by Republican-leaning outside groups. 

Obama’s monthly haul was nearly twice as much as the $23 million per month average he raised during the final three months of 2011 and more than the $29.1 million he raised in January. Yet the largesse still fell short of the $56 million he raised in February 2008, when he was seeking the Democratic nomination against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

With Republicans locked in an extended primary, Obama’s team has tried to build a large 50-state operation that will help it register new voters, bring back past supporters and boost turnout. Obama’s campaign had about $75 million in the bank through the end of January; totals for February were not immediately available. Read more

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