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Romney leads in fundraising among GOP presidential candidates

Mitt Romney is outpacing his GOP rivals in fundraising, but the campaign has fallen short of an internal goal of raising $50 million for the first part of the year.

New York Times

Mitt Romney is outpacing his GOP rivals in fundraising, but the campaign has fallen short of an internal goal of raising $50 million for the first part of the year.

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney leads all Republicans in the contest for campaign cash, cementing his front-runner status among contenders hoping to go up against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Romney, who spent weeks on the road collecting pledges and checks, added more than $18.4 million to his account during the April-to-June fundraising period. He has $12.7 million in the bank.

The former Massachusetts governor outpaced his closest rival to announce numbers so far, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, by a 3-1 ratio in banked cash. Yet he still came up short for his campaign's internal $50 million goal for the first half of this year.

Bachmann, a darling among the tea party, said she would report $3.6 million in the bank, a blend of fundraising and a transfer from her congressional campaign fund. She brought in $4.2 million since formally beginning her campaign in June.

Tim Pawlenty, the former two-term governor of Minnesota, raised about $4 million in the period and has about $1.4 million available for his primary contest.

The reports also detailed problems for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose campaign was carrying more than $1 million in debt. The former Georgia lawmaker raised $2.1 million for the quarter but spent $1.8 million. Gingrich listed about $322,000 in the bank.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum reported taking in $582,000, with less than $225,000 banked for the primaries.

The numbers are one of the first measures of the campaigns' early strength as they look to take on Obama's well-funded re-election bid. On Wednesday, Obama's team announced it had raised $86 million during the second quarter of the year for his campaign and the Democratic Party.

Georgia businessman Herman Cain brought in almost $2.6 million in the first weeks of his White House bid, but the talk show host and former Godfathers Pizza CEO banked less than the $500,000 he loaned himself.

Rep. Ron Paul, the Texan with a strong following among the party's libertarian wing, reported $2.9 million in the bank and said he moved more than $1 million from his House campaign committee. He has announced he will not seek another term.

Aides said former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has collected $4.1 million, but as much as half of that could be money he has put into the campaign himself. Huntsman declared himself a candidate in June, so the first disclosures from his camp will be on Oct. 15, when the July-through-September report is due.

Romney leads in fundraising among GOP presidential candidates 07/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:41am]

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