Mitt Romney raised $14 million in the third fundraising quarter, his presidential campaign reported on Friday, giving the former Massachusetts governor a combined $32 million haul from his first two fundraising periods.
The third-quarter total, which includes nearly 56,000 contributors, is another solid return for the GOP front-runner, who continues to prove he has the best organization in his party's presidential field. But it comes with one cautionary note: Romney has just $14.65 million cash on hand, meaning he has already spent more than half of what he’s raised. It is a quick burn rate for any campaign, and it helps negate his financial edge.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for instance, has raised just $17 million thus far, but he has as much cash on hand as Romney. Perry also raised more than Romney in the last quarter, $17 million to $14 million, despite running a campaign for only six weeks. Both candidates’ reports fall well short of President Obama’s, who announced on Thursday that he had raised $42 million in the third fundraising quarter--$70 million when combined with the Democratic National Committee.
Still, Romney has shown the most fundraising prowess among the GOP candidates. And that’s a powerful tool to convince many in the Republican Party that he is the most well-qualified candidate to take on Obama next fall.
“We are proud of the $32 million we have raised for the campaign so far,” said Spencer Zwick, Romney's campaign finance chairman. “This is just the start of the effort to help fuel Mitt Romney’s message that will defeat President Obama next November.”