The Romney campaign spent $4.04 million on payroll in August — nearly twice as much as it spent in July — while the Obama campaign spent $4.37 million, according to campaign finance disclosures filed last week with theÂ Federal Election Commission.
But the president appears to be getting a much bigger bang for his buck.
According to an analysis by the Times Data Desk, part of the Los Angeles Times, the Obama campaign had 901 people on its payroll last month, and paid them a median salary of $3,074 a month, or $36,886 a year.
The Romney campaign, in contrast, had 403 people on its payroll, and paid them a median salary of $6,437 in August, which would mean $77,250 a year.
A Romney campaign official said the median staff salary is actually $51,500 a year. The August payroll may have been inflated by back pay owed to new employees, the official said.
(Our calculations do not include the $207,500 in bonuses that the campaign paid Aug. 31 to nine top Romney officials. Recipients included campaign manager Matt Rhoades, field director Rich Beeson, policy director Lanhee Chen, and communications director Gail Gitcho. A campaign spokeswoman said the bonuses were tied to Romneyâ€™s primary wins, and were paid after the GOP national convention, pursuant to their employment agreements.)
The disparity in the two campaignsâ€™ compensation packages underscores a key difference in their strategic approach.
Much of Obamaâ€™s campaign staff consists of on-the-ground organizers deployed around the country early this year as part of a field program designed to identify and register Obama voters, and ultimatelyÂ get them to cast ballots.
The Romney campaign has taken a different tack. It is relying on the Republican National Committee for the bulk of its voter registration and mobilization program this fall.
The RNC appears to have a smaller staff than the Democratic National Committee. Last month, it employed 208 people, paying them a median annual salary of $40,814. The DNC had 291 staffers who were on track to make a median annual salary of $35,394.
But RNC officials said the staff at the partyâ€™s headquarters does not count organizers out in the field, who are paid directly by the state parties.