Buried in a Dallas Morning News story about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's shaky debate performances is a shocking suggestion: That the campaign's initial fundraising swings in Texas and Oklahoma raised $20 million -- in just three days.
That's a staggering thought, equal to 4,000 donors writing the $5,000 maximum check (half of which, because of Federal Election Commission rules, wouldn't be available until the general election). It's all the more incredible given that Perry's first three weeks on the trail were all in August, the worst month of the year for fundraising.
And Perry insiders say $20 million for the quarter -- much less in three days -- is not a reasonable expectation.
But Perry's internet fundraising is going better than expected, and an aggressive fundraising events schedule is putting the campaign in good shape. A top Perry adviser suggests $10 million during the campaign's first six weeks is a more reasonable measure -- an indication that the campaign will be safely into eight figures for the quarter.
Mitt Romney outraised every one of his serious contenders last quarter. With Perry in the race, that's not going to happen this quarter.