National Journal's Hotline On Call reports that Sarah Palin led all of her potential rivals for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination in end-of-the-year fundraising, even finishing ahead of her closest competitor Mitt Romney:
Both Palin and Romney filed impressive year-end fundraising reports, due Monday at the Federal Election Commission. From Nov. 23 and Dec. 31, Palin's Sarah PAC hauled in $279,000. She finished the year with $1.3 million in her campaign account.Hotline's Jeremy P. Jacobs says Gov. Palin's fundraising success shows that she has cultivated a dedicated network of contributors, most of them small donors. As for the other potential GOP candidates, none of their fundraising efforts even came close to those of the two front runners.
Palin's total is particularly striking because she outraised Romney using only a federal political action committee. Romney's series of state level PACs set up in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Carolina, detailed in a New York Times report last year, allows big donors to max out both to Romney's federal committee, the Free and Strong America PAC, and to his state organizations, which often have higher contribution limits.
That state network helped Romney outraise Palin in the previous reporting period, which covered mid-October to the end of November. He wasn't as fortunate in the final reporting period of the year. In the last five weeks of 2010, Romney's federal PAC raised almost $175,000 and his state PACs hauled in $36,000, bringing his total haul to almost $211,000 -- less than Palin's take for the same period.