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Fourth quarter fundraising winners and losers

at 01:59 PM ET, 02/01/2012

We’re digging into the just-filed fourth quarter fundraising reports over here at The Fix.

And as usual, that means winners and losers time.

Here’s our initial take on who won and lost for the period spanning October through December. (And let us know what we missed in the comments section):

WINNERS

President Obama: It may not be the billion-dollar campaign that some have suggested, but Obama continues to rake it in, to the tune of $68 million between his campaign and the Democratic National Committee in the fourth quarter. The top GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, raised $24 million.

GOP super PACs: The great equalizers for the GOP, of course, are the rapidly proliferating Republican-leaning super PACs. The top GOP super PACs raised about $60 million in 2011, compared to less than $15 million for their Democratic counterparts. So does the GOP nominee plus super PACs equal an incumbent president? Quite possibly.

Restore Our Future: The pro-Romney super PAC raised nearly $18 million in the second half of 2011, the most raised by any super PAC, including American Crossroads.

Elizabeth Warren: How can we not put the Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate on the list of winners again? $5.7 million is a number some presidential candidates would be happy to have.
Elizabeth Warren speaks in Lowell, Mass. in October during a debate among six Massachusetts Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Scott Brown. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.): Her Senate campaign raised far more than any of her potential GOP opponents, setting the pace for a top Senate race. She outraised former four-term governor Tommy Thompson (R) $1.1 million to $656,000 (though it should be noted that Thompson didn’t have a full quarter to raise money).

NRCC Patriots: The GOP’s program for its most vulnerable members outpaced its Democratic counterpart in the fourth quarter, pulling in an average of $265,000, compared to $215,000 for the DCCC’s Frontline members. Of course, much of the disparity lies with one candidate, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who pulled in $1.7 million himself. Still, even without West, the Patriots have more cash on hand, despite many of them being freshmen.

Democratic challengers: The Patriot vs. Frontline comparison aside, many vulnerable Republican House members were outraised. They include: Reps. Charlie Bass (N.H.), Scott Tipton (Colo.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Dan Lungren (Calif.), Reid Ribble (Wis.), David Rivera (Fla.), Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Dan Webster (Fla.), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Steve King (Iowa), Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Scott Rigell (Va.). Democratic challengers have something to be proud of as the party aims to reclaim the House.

Linda Lingle: The former Hawaii governor has an uphill battle in front of her in a tough state, but her Senate campaign’s initial $1.7 million haul was nearly three times her nearest competitor, Rep. Mazie Hirono (D).

LOSERS

Herman Cain’s donors: They were really coming through for the insurgent GOP presidential candidate before his campaign was derailed by adultery allegations. Cain raised $11.5 million in the fourth quarter, despite dropping out on Dec. 3 with more than a month left in the three-month period. Just think of what could have been…

House Republicans running for Senate: For whatever reason, Reps. Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) all had lackluster quarters for sitting incumbents, pulling in less than $660,000 each. Rehberg was badly outraised, while Flake and Berg narrowly outraised Democratic underdogs. On the plus side for the GOP’s Senate hopes, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who was recently appointed to the Senate from the House, got on the fundraising horse and pulled in $1.1 million after some not-so-good quarters, matching Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) for the first time.

Sarah Steelman: The one-time GOP Senate frontrunner from Missouri raised less than $100,000 for the second-straight quarter, while her newest opponent, businessman John Brunner, self-funded $1 million and raised another $230,000. Steelman is known as a grassroots candidate, and she’ll really need to be now.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.): He got a much tougher district courtesy of redistricting, and his most recent FEC report shows he got contributions in the fourth quarter from just two individual North Carolinians.

 
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