Romney raises $18 million in second quarter

July 6, 2011

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million over the past three months, a sum likely to put him head and shoulders above his Republican presidential rivals in the money chase.

“Voters are responding to Mitt Romney’s message that President Obama’s policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington,” said Romney national finance chairman Spencer Zwick. “Our fundraising for the second quarter represents the strong support Mitt Romney has across the country.”

All the money Romney raised is for the primary race; he ended June with $12.6 million in the bank. He raised more than half his total for the quarter during a single call day in Las Vegas in May.

His fundraising total is short of the $23.5 million, including roughly $2.5 million of his own money, that he raised in the first quarter of 2007, during his last presidential race. He did not make any personal contributions in this reporting period, although he has not ruled out doing so during the 2012 campaign. In the 2008 race, Romney donated $44.5 million of his own money to his effort.

Romney’s total virtually ensures that Obama will lap the entire Republican field easily — the president is likely to announce his fundraising numbers this week — and he may surpass the $60 million goal laid out to his national finance team earlier this year.

Romney’s fundraising dwarfs that of his Republican primary opponents so far. Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) raised $4.5 million between April 1 and June 30, while former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty collected $4.2 million.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who entered the race just days before the end-of-June deadline, brought in $4.1 million — a total that included a major personal donation (although his campaign said it was less than half of what he raised). Businessman Herman Cain collected $2.5 million in the quarter, while former House speaker Newt Gingrich raised $2 million but is deep in debt, according to Politico.

The only other major GOP candidate who has not reported fundraising totals is Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). Her campaign says she will not announce her fundraising totals until July 15, the day that reports of contributions and expenditures over the past three months are due at the Federal Election Commission.

Romney is likely to benefit from a “super PAC” organized by some of his former political advisers. The group, Restore Our Future, announced Tuesday that it had raised $12 million over the first six months of the year.

Although Obama is likely to be king in the cash chase, the comparisons are not entirely fair. The president is raising money for a joint fundraising account with the Democratic National Committee, allowing donors to write a single large check that is then divvied up between his reelection campaign and the DNC.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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