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GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry may be struggling in the polls, but he's still cleaning up in the fundraising department. The Texas governor's campaign reportedly received $17 million in donations in the last three months, a haul made all the more "impressive" by the fact that Perry was only officially a candidate for the last 49 of those 92 days. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney took in $18 million in the first quarter of his campaign — but he had the full three months to do it. This quarter, Romney's number will likely be closer to $14 million. Will Perry's windfall put his campaign back on track?
Perry is on his way back to the top: Perry clearly hopes this will send a message — that "he can out-raise and out-organize the rest of the field," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Herman Cain may have caught up with Perry in the polls, but the former Godfather's Pizza CEO won't amass anything close to Perry's campaign war chest. If Perry can follow this up with a solid debate performance next week, he can "truly right the ship and regain some of the momentum lost in the polls."
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This does not erase Perry's troubles: Campaign donations don't necessarily "translate into votes," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Just ask Rudy Giuliani, who had cash pouring in during the 2008 campaign, only to quickly fizzle out. It's clearly too early to write off Perry's campaign, but no amount of money will help Perry if he "continues shooting himself in the foot."
Clearly, this is still a two-candidate race: So far, only Perry and Romney have shown they can raise the money it takes to run for president, says Jed Lewison at Daily Kos. Yes, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul have raised mountains of cash in other campaigns, but they just can't compete with the frontrunners. Even though the polls show that Romney and Perry still have "tremendous weaknesses, until another candidate can raise money at their level, the campaign for the Republican nomination will effectively be a two-person race."
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