Friday marks a major fundraising deadline for the GOP presidential candidates that will define the top-tier — perhaps for good.
The third quarter closes on Friday night, and the candidates are scrambling to boost their fundraising totals before midnight strikes.
This will be the first time Texas Gov. Rick Perry will file a financial disclosure form, and he is expected to report raising about $15 million, according to people close to his campaign. Perry has stumbled in recent presidential debates, but his high-profile roll-out and meteoric rise to the top of national polls will likely give him the top spot in the money race this quarter.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who led the GOP field in the second quarter with $18 million — a figure he is not expected to beat after maxing-out some donors in the first half of the year and now that Perry has entered the race. Sources close to the Romney campaign are downplaying their haul — though it is not clear whether they setting the stage for a beats-expectations announcement, or preparing to be beat by Perry.
President Barack Obama is once again expected to raise multiples of the GOP totals, with the key test being whether he can break teh 1 million individual donor mark. The campaign brought in $47 million last quarter — about where the campaign will end up again, sources said.
This will also be the first time former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman releases his fundraising totals — which are likely to underwhelm, given the candidate’s poor showing in most polls. While he is beginning to show some life in the campaign, Huntsman is also injecting his own money into the race — and is likely to report raising about $5 million, according to a source close to the campaign, along with some debt.
Rep. Ron Paul brought in over $1 million in a day last week from a “money bomb” — and his die-hard libertarian base is likely to put him in the $5 million range, someone with knowledge of the campaign’s fundraising efforts said.
Herman Cain is riding high off his victory in Saturday’s Florida Straw Poll and a strong performance in the last GOP debate. Campaign spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael said “We’ve raised several hundred thousand dollars each day since the debate,” but wouldn’t provide specifics on the total haul — though it is likely to be about $3 million.
Despite a strong open for Rep. Michele Bachmann — late-July/early-August was arguably the peak of her campaign — the tea party favourite is unlikely to top the $4 million she reported in the second quarter, which included $2 million from her congressional campaign account. A source told POLITICO that her campaign’s financial state is “dire.”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told POLITICO that he’ll bring in less than $1 million as his campaign was largely thought irrelevant until the Bachmann implosion of early September. He’s gained renewed stature in the debates and the representative of social conservatives but he isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich‘s campaign has been virtually non-existent after imploding in the early Summer. While the candidate is connected to many donors from his Washington days, his candidacy has been a novelty that is unlikely to have drawn much financial support. GOP sources predict he’ll bring in under $1 million.
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