Romney's Fundraising Far Outstrips GOP Field But Widely Misses Goal

Mitt Romney walks past photographers before Allentown, Pa. campaign event, Thursday, June 30, 2011. i

Mitt Romney walks past photographers before Allentown, Pa. campaign event, Thursday, June 30, 2011. Rich Schultz/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Schultz/AP
Mitt Romney walks past photographers before Allentown, Pa. campaign event, Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Mitt Romney walks past photographers before Allentown, Pa. campaign event, Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Rich Schultz/AP

Mitt Romney is clearly not just the frontrunner in name recognition but in moneyraising among the Republicans competing for their party's presidential nomination.

He raised nearly $18.3 million in the second quarter, far outstripping his fellow Republican presidential candidates. All of that money can be used in the primaries. He raised $1.9 million in the first quarter.

But even though this put Romney far ahead of his competitors for the GOP nomination, he was reportedly far behind his own internal goal.

As Jonathan Martin at Politico.com reported:

Mitt Romney disclosed today that he raised $18.25 million in his initial fundraising report, but his goal for the first half of 2011 was $50 million, according to an email sent by a Romney consultant to a potential state finance aide at the end of last year.

Don Stirling, a Utah-based Romney finance consultant, sent a message in late-December to another western GOP strategist outlining compensation plans and fundraising targets.

"National 6-month goal: $50 million," he wrote in the message, obtained by POLITICO.

Romney is not only behind his goal for the first six months but lags what he raised in 2007. In the second quarter of 2007, he raised $23.5 million, $2.5 million of which he contributed from his personal wealth.

Here's the problem for Romney. He's competing against an incumbent president who only needs to worry about the general election. And that president's people say he will raise $60 million for the second quarter though some of that will go to the Democratic National Committee.

Meanwhile, Romney must run strong caucus and primary campaigns in several states. Only robust showings will enhance his aura of inevitability and guarantee him the nomination.

That means he'll be burning through his cash in the primaries though he'll be able to control that by keeping down expenses. Indeed, if he can husband his money well, it will help boost his claim to being an excellent business manager, one of his key arguments for why he should be president.

The Christian Science Monitor's Linda Feldman reported on some of the second quarter fundraising totals for other GOP candidates:

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas: $4.5 million. Second only to Romney, Congressman Paul's take reflects the depth of passion among his supporters.

Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota: $4.2 million. That figure is not outstanding for a candidate who started early and is thought to have top-tier potential, but it's enough to keep going, analysts say.

Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah: $4.1 million. That total includes personal money he loaned the campaign. He joined the race only on June 21.

Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza: $2.5 million, including some "modest seed money" of his own, his campaign reports.

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker: $2 million. But he has only $225,000 in the bank, and debt of about $1 million, according to news reports.

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