He may only be a fragile, shape-shifting frontrunner, but Mitt Romney is still very good at fundraising: in the last three months, he filled his campaign coffers with $18.25 million, far outpacing his rivals. As The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reported, all the other candidates numbers seem miniscule: Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul hauled sums in the $4 million range, Newt Gingrich's lifeless campaign collected $2 million and Herman Cain stands at about $2.5 million. Michele Bachmann's populist money machine is currently a mystery: Cillizza notes that she won't file her numbers until July 15.
But each candidate's fundraising prowess--at this point--is also about managing expectations. In that regard, Romney will be docked a few points for failing to match his 2007 election haul of over $21 million at this point in the campaign cycle. And The Wall Street Journal has already dampened his enthusiasm by noting "Mr. Romney was widely expected to exceed those sums when his fund-raising cranked up months ago."
In the eternally on-message candidate's favor, he can add another favorable early state poll to bolster his status as the tolerable GOP nominee. National Journal's Hotline has reported that Romney still leads in the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire with 35 percent support, with Bachmann still inexplicably gaining on Mitt: she's up to 12 percent support.