First, Mitt Romney is likely to wind up having raised the most money this quarter... somewhere north of $10M...maybe around $12M. Rudy Giuliani raised less than that. Fred Thompson raised more than $8. John McCain, north of $5.

Give Romney credit: he has an extremely distributed, many-branched fundraising network and a terrific team. He's had a good few months and his nomination strategy is proceeding on course. Rudy Giuliani had no real fundraising network to speak of; that he can still raise more nearly $10M in the third quarter of the year is testament to his status as the national frontrunner. Similarly, $8M for Thompson isn't that bad. Comparing his first quarter take to the millions more raised by Romney, McCain and Giuliani is not really fair: the conditions of the race have evolved in six months and the fundraising field is much less fertile. That $8M is $8M that no other candidate managed to accumulate.

Giuliani and Romney will have enough money to compete through Feb. 5. Thompson has enough to run fully-fledged campaigns in the early states. Romney can write himself a check whenever he wants. The rest of the field is on fumes, money-wise.

And Republicans are raising much less than the Democrats.

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