Mitt Romney proves to be a donor magnet, raising over $18 million in the 2012 race for the presidency and eclipsing other Republican candidates, including Newt Gingrich who is struggling with $1 million in campaign debt.
Campaign finance reports show that Romney raised $18.25 million in the second quarter of 2011. Of that total amount, $12.6 million represents cash on hand. Unlike his last presidential campaign, Romney has not chipped into any personal funds so far.
Romney's finance chair, Spencer Zwick, said of the funds, "Voters are responding to Mitt Romney's message that President Obama's policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington."
Polls show Romney is the current GOP frontrunner. These numbers now make the returning 2008 GOP candidate one of the most potent in the Republican primary race.
Several other candidates released their campaign finances Wednesday, and so far, no one has come close to raising the same amount of money.
Tim Pawlenty reported raising $4.2 million despite nabbing coveted fundraiser Nicole Schlinger. Schlinger is listed as one of The Des Moines Register's 50 most wanted people for the Iowa caucuses.
Even with the reported fundraising giant, Libertarian Ron Paul out fundraised Pawlenty's campaign. He reported landing $4.5 million in donations.
Tea Party darling Herman Cain reported $2.5 million in his campaign coffers. The amount includes some "modest seed money" of his own, according the Christian Science Monitor.
Former House speaker Gingrich is dead last in the race to woo campaign financiers.
The strategist reported raising $2 million. However, he has only $225,000 of that in the bank. He is also in debt by about $1 million, says campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.
Prior to the report, several employees walked away from the Gingrich campaign.
First, a group of seven or so senior advisors resigned together, citing as problem Gingrich’s refusal to stay on the campaign trail. Gingrich seemed upbeat about the mass resignations, stating on Facebook that he planned to start anew the following week. Less than two weeks later his fundraising director and fundraising consultant also walked off the job.
Last month, Gingrich had a positive intensity score of 4, the second lowest of the GOP candidates. His positive intensity score was 19 earlier this year.
Gingrich, who told staffers he preferred to run a high-tech campaign primarily focused on social media, will be singing a new tune over the next two month.
He will reportedly be spending 16 days campaigning in Iowa. Gingrich plans to focus his talks on how repealing regulations imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act will lead to job growth, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Michele Bachman and President Barack Obama have yet to disclose their campaign finances.