Romney extends lead in GOP fundraising

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Mitt Romney’s campaign raised $6.4 million in January, Newt Gingrich raised $5.6 million, and Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul each raised $4.5 million, showing all four men competitive in the fundraising segment of the Republican presidential fight.

Mr. Romney’s best day came on Jan. 19, just ahead of South Carolina’s primary, when he raised more than $842,000, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission before Monday’s midnight deadline and covering Jan. 1-31.

“We have exceeded our fundraising goals and are on track with spending plans,” said Spencer Zwick, finance chairman for the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign. “We are the only campaign who has the organization and resources to go the distance of a long primary process. We know there is a long road ahead, and we will remain steady.”

For his part, Mr. Gingrich raised $403,164 on his best day, which came immediately after the former House speaker won South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary.

Mr. Santorum’s best day was the more than $362,000 he raised on Jan. 4 — the day after Iowa’s caucuses, when he was first announced as the runner-up by a razor-thin margin, though he would later be declared the winner.

In January alone, Mr. Santorum raised more than twice the amount he’d raised the entire year before.

And the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania also led the field in the competition for small-dollar donors, even topping Mr. Paul. He raised $2.6 million from those giving under $200, while Mr. Gingrich raised $2.5 million from small-dollar donors, Mr. Paul collected $2.1 million in such contributions, and Mr. Romney raised just $1.2 million.

His small-dollar win signals Mr. Santorum is leading the race for the kinds of grass-roots supporters that have fueled insurgent candidates in the past.

All told, Mr. Romney spent nearly $8.5 million on advertising buys in January, en route to primary victories in New Hampshire and Florida.

Mr. Romney ended the month with $7.7 million in cash on hand, while Mr. Paul had $1.6 million available. Mr. Santorum had $1.5 million on hand, but also had debts of more than $956,000. Mr. Gingrich fared even worse, claiming $1.8 million in ready cash but debts of $1.7 million.

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