Barack Obama, the Democratic Party contender for the U.S. presidency, raised $52 million last month, more than double the amount of his Republican rival.

Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, announced Thursday that the multi-million-dollar haul was raised with an average contribution of $68.

He said the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee now have nearly $72 million in the bank ahead of November's presidential election.

Last week, Obama's rival, Senator John McCain, reported raising $22 million in June. That was the best fundraising month of his campaign.

Despite Obama's record-breaking fundraising abilities, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee have more combined funds than the Democrats. They have about $95 million for the general election.

Obama has broken fundraising records by appealing to voters over the Internet and asking average Americans for small contributions.

Because of this success, he has chosen to bypass the presidential public financing system. The system would have given Obama $84 million in public funds for the election, but would have prohibited him from raising private money.  The McCain campaign criticized Obama for going back on a promise to take part in public financing.

Obama said Wednesday that, if elected, he would lead a global effort to get rid of nuclear weapons.  McCain, meanwhile, spoke to a leading civil rights group representing black Americans, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and called for reform in the U.S. educational system. 



Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.