The second-quarter of political fundraising ended on Thursday, and while we won't reach the filing deadline for another two weeks, campaigns are starting to announce their hauls.
So far, this is what we know:
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has raised at least $4.5 million, and his campaign is still counting up the checks, according to a senior campaign official
- Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty raised $4.2 million, according to campaign spokesman Alex Conant: "Gov. Pawlenty will report that his campaign has raised about $4.2 million, and begins the third quarter with more available cash-on-hand than the Republicans who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary had in July 2007."
- Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman raised $4.1 million. Huntsman donated "less than half" of that money himself, according to an anonymous aide quoted by The Washington Post
Since 3rd quarter fundraising numbers won't come out for another three months, candidates will look for solid totals not just to add to their bank accounts, but to send an early message to potential donors that they're going to be competitive. Good fundraising can beget more good fundraising; low numbers can lead to a run of bad press.
Ron Paul impressed many with his fundraising ability in 2008, having taken in over $34 million before he dropped out in early March of that year. With an early lead over Pawlenty, seen as a more viable mainstream candidate, Paul seems to be replicating that success.