Mitt Romney started the general election this month with a sizeable advantage in cash on hand, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

The August reports show that, while President Obama's campaign had much more cash than Romney's, by a margin of $88.8 million to $50.4 million, when you factor in the national party committees and joint fundraising committees that raise money for both the campaigns and the national parties, Romney leads $168.5 million to $125.2 million.

That roughly $43 million advantage is down from the month before, when Romney and the Republicans had a $62 million edge.

But given the fact that GOP outside groups have spent and likely will spend far more on the presidential campaign than their Democratic counterparts, it virtually guarantees that the incumbent president will be significantly outspent in the final two months of the campaign.

Romney accepted the Republican nomination at the end of August, at which point he was able to tap the significant general election funds in his campaign. He still retained $15 million in debt from a $20 million loan needed to get him through the primary season.

Obama, who officially became his party's nominee at the beginning of September, has just $2.9 million in debt.