Santorum Doubles January Fundraising as Romney Keeps Cash Lead

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who has emerged as the chief rival to Mitt Romney, more than doubled his fundraising after winning the Iowa caucuses last month.

Romney still raised more money than all of his Republican challengers and continued to receive the most financial support from Wall Street.

Meanwhile, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, winner of the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21, ended the January filing period with almost as much debt as he had cash in the bank.

A former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum raised $4.5 million in January after collecting $2.2 million in the entire last year, Federal Election Commission financial disclosure reports posted yesterday show. He took in 57 percent of his money last month in donations of $200 or less, according to FEC records. Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3 and the Feb. 7 contests in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota, reported having $1.5 million in the bank at the start of February, FEC records show.

Romney brought in more than $6.5 million last month, according to his disclosure report. Romney, who has won four primary contests including Florida, has raised a total of $63.7 million and had a campaign bank account balance of $7.7 million on Jan. 31.

Wall Street Donations

He raised $36,996 last month from employees of New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., and $33,013 from employees of Bank of America Corp., based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Romney, a co-founder of the Boston-based private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC, has raised more money from employees of Wall Street firms and commercial banks than any other 2012 presidential candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks political giving.

Donations of $200 or less accounted for 18 percent of his receipts last month, according to his FEC report.

Unlike previous elections, none of the Republican candidates have publicly identified those who are raising money for their campaigns, except the registered lobbyists they are required by law to report to the FEC.

Romney was the only candidate to disclose any so-called bundlers last month, saying that three registered lobbyists who have been raising money for his campaign brought in an additional $163,645. Wayne Berman, whose clients include Blackstone Group LP, based in New York, and San Francisco-based Visa Inc., raised $79,050 of that total.

Gingrich’s Total

Gingrich’s South Carolina victory helped generate $5.6 million in donations last month. Through Jan. 31, he raised a total of $18.3 million for his campaign.

He reported $1.8 million in the bank at the end of January -- with $1.7 million in debts, including $115,503 for web ads and $7,500 to his daughter Jackie Cushman’s consulting firm.

Gingrich also relied on small donations; 45 percent of his money last month was in amount of $200 or less.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas reported taking in $4.5 million in January, with 47 percent in amounts of $200 or less, and entering February with $1.6 million in the bank. Paul has raised $31 million through Jan. 31, second only to Romney. The campaign said on its website today that it has also raised more than $1.9 million so far this month.

The Republicans trail President Barack Obama in fundraising as the Democratic incumbent takes in money for both the primary campaign and the general election. Through Jan. 31, Obama raised $140 million, including $12 million last month, and had $76 million in the bank.

Perry, Huntsman

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who withdrew from the Republican presidential race Jan. 19 and endorsed Gingrich, reported that he had $860,168 in the bank at the end of January. He has asked the FEC for permission to convert his campaign account to a political action committee. He raised $388,531 last month, bringing his total to $20.5 million.

Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China, lent his campaign another $50,000 on Jan. 4, 12 days before dropping out of the presidential race and endorsing Romney. He lent his campaign a total of $2.6 million while raising $3.8 million. He also reported other campaign debts of $2.6 million.

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, the only Republican candidate seeking federal funds to help finance his campaign, raised $48,807, bringing his total to $393,839, including a $24,900 personal loan. He had $7,126 in the bank.

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