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Romney campaign bomb slow to detonate

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Did Mitt Romney's campaign bomb when it came to his money bomb?

Fresh off his heady victory in the Florida primary, Romney's campaign announced a fundraising push Tuesday night, dubbed the One Term Fund, with the goal of quickly raising $1 million to help unseat President Obama.

Twenty-four hours later, the ultimate goal was not yet in sight, according to a special Web site set up to keep track.

"Thanks everyone for helping the #OneTermFund raise over 600k so far," Romney wrote on Twitter shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday. As of about 9 p.m.— more than a day after the effort launched — the total appeared to be hovering around $700,000.

The Obama campaign, apparently sensing an opportunity, went up with its own "Two-Term Fund" effort on Wednesday afternoon with a goal of raising $2 million and quickly caught up with its rival. As of 9 p.m., the Obama campaign's Web site said it was approaching $700,000 as well.

"Money bombs" have become a staple of political fundraising, particularly on the national level. The online technique has been spearheaded by one of Romney's rivals, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has raised as much as $6 million in a single day.  

To be sure, the Romney camp never portrayed its $1 million goal as a 24-hour effort, but seven-figure, one-day hauls have become commonplace. Last month, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, who is locked in an expensive race with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), raised more than $1 million on the two-year anniversary of Brown's upset election to the seat.

Romney has outdistanced his Republican rivals in campaign fundraising, with $19 million cash on hand at the end of December. Obama, however, had four times as much money on the same date, and had raised as much money from small donors as Romney raised in total.

A Romney aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no time limit had been put on the $1 million goal but the effort was likely to continue through Thursday night. A representative from the Obama campaign was not available for comment Wednesday night.

As the jockeying for funds continued, Romney and Obama traded retorts on Twitter.

"One-term president? It's up to you," Obama wrote to supporters.

"He's right," Romney fired back a few minutes later, providing a link to the One Term Fund site.

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