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Republican committee says raised $9 million last month

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican National Committee said on Wednesday it had raised $9 million in campaign cash last month, a record for a non-election year, as it bolsters its efforts to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012.

The RNC said it took in significantly more funds than the Democratic National Committee, which hasn't reported monthly figures yet.

"The RNC continues to bank the resources needed to ensure he (Obama) is a one-term president," said the committee's communications director Sean Spicer.

Obama's popularity has slumped in recent months, although approval ratings for the U.S. Congress, with the House of Representatives controlled by Republicans and the Senate controlled by Democrats, are also near historic lows.

The percentage of Americans who disapprove of Obama's job performance edged up to 50 percent from 48 percent in the past month, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

At the party level, the RNC took in $8.2 million in August, compared with the DNC with $5.4 million in receipts.

Democrats are ahead for the year, as Obama's star power is still proving effective at raising money. He raised a record $86 million in the second quarter, a figure that includes the DNC and his individual campaign.

Obama's campaign has said it seeks to raise $55 million in the third quarter ending September 30. though many believe those estimates are deliberately set low to beat expectations.

Quarterly reports for presidential candidates are due to be submitted to the Federal Election Commission by Saturday.

Obama, whose campaign broke records raising about $750 million in 2008, may top $1 billion for his re-election bid.

Republican presidential candidates are lagging for the time being. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner, took in more than $18 million in the second quarter and is expected to raise a similar amount in the third quarter.

Texas Governor Rick Perry took in $17 million in his first fund-raising quarter, though there is some question as to whether he can sustain that pace, given recent campaign missteps.

(Editing by Chris Wilson)

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