GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday announced receipts of more than $18 million during the third quarter of the year — a total that includes an $8.5 million loan from the candidate.
Romney has not yet released how much was raised in Utah. Last Friday, he was in the state for a pair of fund-raising events in St. George and Salt Lake City that reportedly raised at least $200,000.
So far this year, Romney has collected $62 million towards his White House run, including $17 million in personal loans. Romney, who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, had previously made loans to his campaign.
Right now, the campaign has $9 million on hand. During last Friday's "Rally for Romney" grass-roots fund-raising event at the Salt Palace Convention Center, campaign staff stressed the need to buy television commercials in key states.
That's because Romney is not as well-known as the other frontrunners in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson.
It's a strategy the Romney camp believes is working, since he is leading in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Still, Romney lags behind in national polls, something the campaign hopes to remedy by extending the advertising program.
Name recognition is not a problem for Romney in Utah, of course. He headed the successful 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like the majority of Utahns.
Utah has been an important source of funds for Romney, coming up with nearly $4 million of the $44 million he'd reported by mid-year. The Salt Palace event was intended to attract new donors who aren't able to come up with the $2,300 maximum contribution.
Romney's campaign said Thursday more than 100,000 people have donated so far this year, including 23,000 new donors in the third quarter alone. The contributions have been received from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Unlike some of the other campaigns, Romney is only raising money for the primary election. Details of all the presidential candidates' donations and expenditures are due to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.
Giuliani and McCain have yet to report their receipts for the third quarter. Thompson, who only recently entered the race, has said he took in more than $8 million.