Perry Tops in Latest Fundraising Totals

They say “cash is king” in political campaigns, and if so, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is still riding high with a campaign war chest of $15 million cash on hand, after taking in $17 million in the last reporting period. His top rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, raised about $18 million last quarter.

Perry, who has struggled on the campaign trail after a poor performance in the last presidential debate, is holding his own when it comes to making fundraising calls. After getting a late start out of the gate, Perry’s numbers are especially impressive given the fact almost all of it can be used in the primary and he couldn’t begin fundraising until around the midway point of the reporting period. In addition, his report will show he raised money from contributors in all 50 states.

“The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Gov. Perry’s principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again,” Perry’s campaign manager Rob Johnson said.

Political analyst and pundits now believe Perry will have the opportunity to re-establish himself as a top contender with his impressive fundraising total.

“This is a very good start to Rick Perry’s fundraising,” campaign-finance expert Anthony Corrado told USA Today. “He’s going to be competitive.”

Fellow Texan and GOP opponent Ron Paul reported raising more than $8 million, but that came from more than 100,000 donors.

“We are pleased with that and believe that will give us the energy to keep the campaign moving right along, since right now there’s a lot of energy with our volunteers and with our organization and we have a lot of energy associated with our young people on college campuses,” Paul said in his remarks at the National Press Club.

While candidates have until Oct. 15 to file their full reports, candidates who want to highlight their fundraising prowess like to prematurely release fundraising totals.

Romney, who has consistently stayed at or near the top of most polls and raised $18 million in the second quarter, is expected to report a lesser amount in the third quarter numbers.

However, Romney’s finance staff and team feel good about their candidate’s financial position. “We are adding new people every day,” said Romney for President spokeswoman Andrea Saul in a statement.

Now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided not to enter the race, the Romney campaign has picked up the support of Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, who encouraged Christie to enter the race.

Home Depot has been the target of several pro-family groups, such as the American Family Association, because of their contributions and support of homosexual organizations and same-sex marriage.

Besides his impressive total, Perry is also touting the fact that more than half his donors were from outside of his home state of Texas, a state rich in Republican donors.

None of the other Republican presidential candidates have released any third-quarter fundraising numbers.

The Obama campaign has established a fundraising goal of approximately $1 billion for the 2012 campaign.