Today the 2012 candidates will be releasing the totals of how much money they raised in the second quarter of this year, and the numbers will clarify how each one is faring in the race. Jon Huntsman released his fundraising total Thursday--$4.1 million after only nine days as an official candidate. But about half of it came from his own bank account, The Salt Lake Tribune's Thomas Burr reports. Meanwhile, President Obama is expected to far outpace the Republicans competing to replace him. He attended two fundraisers Thursday night in a last-minute push to blow then-President Bush's record for an off-year election, set in 2003 with $50.1 million. Obama's campaign was aiming for $60 million with the Democratic National Committee; early Friday morning it boasted on Twitter that it received donations from 493,697 people.
After Mitt Romney raised $10.5 million in a single day in May, some expected him to come close to the fundraising record set by George W. Bush in 1999, when he raised $36.2 million. But Romney's team has been working to lower expectations. Reuters' Kim Dixon reports that Romney raised between $15 million and $20 million--less than he raised in the first quarter of 2007, even though he's widely viewed as the frontrunner.
Tim Pawlenty raised less than $5 million, The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore reports, with some of that money slated for use in the general election, so Pawlenty can't use it in the primaries. Pawlenty's campaign has been struggling, and a poor fundraising total won't help. The Washington Post's Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza, who call this day "Christmas in July for political nerds," note that in 2007, second-tier Democrats raised more than Pawlenty reportedly has--Bil Richardson pulled in $6 million, for example, and Chris Dodd raised $4 million. "But the more important question," Blake and Cillizza write, "is whether [Pawlenty's] outraised by Reps. Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann--or even... Huntsman."
Politico's Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown report that Obama's "hypercompetitive" campaign staff hopes to crush them all. Obama raised $745 million in 2008, and today offers "the first true test of his grassroots prowess and an early indicator of whether any 2008 pixie dust still sticks to a battle-scarred president." Democratic sources tell Politico that Obama will easily meet the $60 million goal, and maybe even surpass it. But if he doesn't, it would be "a seismic, if not quite Greek default-level, event."