Michele Bachmann, a fast-rising candidate for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination, will report fundraising figures this week that are expected to show her attracting more cash than nearly all her rivals, analysts said Tuesday.
In a report due to federal regulators Friday, Bachmann, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, could post twice as much as most other Republican hopefuls, who have generally hauled in between $4 million and $4.5 million in contributions from April through June, they said.
The exception is front-runner Mitt Romney, who posted $18.25 million.
"If she were to post $8 million to $10 million, she'd be the clear number two to Romney," said Craig Robinson, editor of the Iowa Republican newspaper. "If there's a clear separation between her and the rest of the field, that's great momentum."
Bachmann is ahead of Romney in some voter surveys in Iowa, a Midwestern state that holds the first presidential caucus and where social conservatives like her tend to do well.
Nearly all the Republican hopefuls have released second-quarter fundraising data. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty posted $4.2 million for the quarter, while former Utah governor Jon Huntsman took in $4.1 million, with close to half coming from his own pocket.
"If it's over $10 million, it's huge. If it's under $5 million, it's disappointing," said Andrew Hemingway, chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus in New Hampshire.
Expectations are higher for Bachmann, a member of the House, in part because of her fundraising prowess in Congress.
During the 2010 cycle, she pulled in $13.5 million in donations. Bachmann can transfer funds remaining in that account to her presidential campaign and is expected to do so.
Her congressional committee has $1.9 million in cash on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Money, of course, does not guarantee success. Romney was extremely well-funded during the 2008 race but was trounced by John McCain.
Bachmann's success at fundraising notwithstanding, many Republican insiders believe her far-right conservative stances will not travel to more moderate states like New Hampshire.
"The odds against Bachmann being the nominee are tremendous," said Dan Schnur, former press secretary for John McCain's 2000 campaign. "If she gets there, it won't be by winning over the establishment, but by surrounding them."
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, hopes to generate $60 million for the second quarter, with help from the Democratic National Committee -- more than all the Republican candidates combined.
Bachmann, who took in more than all of her House colleagues during 2010, has been spending a lot of time wooing new donors, said Ben Golnik, a Minnesota-based consultant who worked for McCain.
"You see her all over the place," meeting many new donors instead of a smaller number of big-ticket donors, Golnik said. "That can pay dividends in the long run and is what Obama did so well."
One of Bachmann's political action committees raised 75 percent of contributions from small donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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