Palin Outraises Romney, Rivals
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin led her potential rivals for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in end-of-the-year fundraising, nosing ahead of her closest competitor, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Both Palin and Romney filed impressive year-end fundraising reports, due Monday at the Federal Election Commission. From Nov. 23 and Dec. 31, Palin's Sarah PAC hauled in $279,000. She finished the year with $1.3 million in her campaign account.
Palin's total is particularly striking because she outraised Romney using only a federal political action committee. Romney's series of state level PACs set up in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Carolina, detailed in a New York Times report last year, allows big donors to max out both to Romney's federal committee, the Free and Strong America PAC, and to his state organizations, which often have higher contribution limits.
That state network helped Romney outraise Palin in the previous reporting period, which covered mid-October to the end of November. He wasn't as fortunate in the final reporting period of the year. In the last five weeks of 2010, Romney's federal PAC raised almost $175,000 and his state PACs hauled in $36,000, bringing his total haul to almost $211,000 -- less than Palin's take for the same period.
Even so, Romney started out 2011 with more cash on hand than Palin. He has more than $1.44 million in his state and federal campaign coffers. Romney also outraised Palin for all of 2010, hauling in $6.3 million to Palin's $3.6 million.
Palin's fundraising success suggests that her unorthodox political strategy -- appearances on Fox News, occasional posts on her Facebook page and Twitter accounts -- has cultivated a dedicated network of contributors.
In the fundraising sweepstakes, Palin and Romney lapped the field of other
potential GOP presidential candidates Of those who have filed reports
with the Federal Election Commission at the time of this writing (the deadline
* South Dakota Sen. John Thune (R) had the best
performance, raising almost $71,000 and ending the year with $182,200 in
* Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) hauled in nearly
$59,000, ending the year with $155,000 in the bank;
* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) Huck PAC raised
$35,000, and has $138,000 in the bank account;
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) raised $31,000. His American Solutions PAC had $65,000 in the bank as of Jan. 1.