So Mitt Romney raised just over $18 million last quarter, enough to put him far ahead of his fellow Republican candidates, but short of
the amount he raised in his first quarter of fundraising during his last presidential campaign.
Romney’s total is short of the $23.5 million he raised in the first quarter of 2007 — a sum seeded by roughly $2.5 million of his own money. He did not make any personal contributions during this reporting period, although he has not ruled out doing so during the campaign. In the 2008 race, Romney donated $44.5 million of his own money to the effort.
Despite raising less than he did in 2007, Romney stands to benefit from the Supreme Court's
changes to evisceration of campaign finance law; a pro-Romney "super PAC" has already raised over $12 million on his behalf.
In May, Romney's campaign made a big deal about having raised more than $10 million in a single day, a stunt apparently intended to portray him as the inevitable Republican nominee. It gained him headlines nationwide, but it turns out the gimmick was smoke and mirrors. The L.A. Times reported recently that Romney's gimmick was actually "sleight of hand."
The former Massachusetts governor’s campaign told reporters in May that he had raised $10 million in a one-day phone-a-thon in Las Vegas. But the amount actually represented pledges gathered earlier and tallied that day, not just funds actually taken in by the campaign.
If the $10 million claim had been accurate, then Romney would have averaged less than $90,000 per day during every other day of the quarter ($8 million spread over 90 days). Whatever the case, his fundraising clip dwarfed his opponents, at least the ones who have reported. For example, Ron Paul is second among those who have reported...and he has about one-quarter of Romney's take, $4.5 million.
Of course, the one candidate who hasn't yet reported is also Romney's biggest threat: Michele Bachmann. She won't report her take until July 15. Presumably, she won't outraise Romney for the full quarter, but in her case the most important figure will probably be her June totals, and if she's in the millions of dollars raised for the month, Romney will be sweating bullets.