Washington – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is out in front of the Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012 in terms of fundraising, with $18.25 million collected in the second quarter, The Washington Post said Wednesday.
Not counting Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, a potentially formidable candidate who still has not revealed the size of her campaign war chest, Romney, who ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, has quietly managed to situate himself a comfortable distance ahead of his rivals in terms of his financing.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has collected $2 million but his campaign is already in debt, the Post said, citing Politico.
Survey results released Wednesday show Romney with a big lead among Republicans in New Hampshire, scene of the first presidential primary.
Romney is supported by 35 percent of likely voters in the University of New Hampshire's latest Granite State poll, well ahead of Bachmann, with 12 percent.
In Iowa, where Democrats and Republicans hold caucuses instead of primaries, poll results from last week show Romney and Bachmann in a virtual tie, with 23 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
The Minnesota lawmaker, a Tea Party favorite, says she will not reveal how much money she has collected until July 15, when aspirants must submit reports of their contributions and expenses over the past three months to the Federal Elections Commission.
"Voters are responding to Mitt Romney's message that President Obama's policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington. Our fundraising for the second quarter represents the strong support Mitt Romney has across the country," the campaign's national finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, said.
To Romney's own fundraising must be added what has been taken in on his behalf through a political action committee organized by some of his political advisors, which announced last week that it had collected $12 million over the past six months.