As Mitt Romney revs up on his cross-country fundraising push, reports that the former Massachusetts governor is expected to formally announce his presidential exploratory committee in early April is  "more aggressive" of a timetable than what is currently expected, according to sources. Still many Romney supporters believe he may form a committee sometime next month, the final step before an official launch of his probable 2012 White House run.

During a closed-door meeting on Thursday with a 100 high powered fund-raisers in New York, Romney said his goal was to raise at least $50 million, the minimum amount he believes is needed to win the GOP presidential primary in 2012. Romney asked the big-dollar donors to pledge at least $ 25,000 each towards reaching that mark. Romney raised $60 million in his 2008 presidential run, and could generate more this time around.

 "It is not a quarterly fund-raising goal," said a source with knowledge of the Romney financial strategy, as some early reports had suggested. But the early, and ambitious effort by Romney to compile at least $50 million, in what is likely to be a packed field of 2012 GOP aspirants, could elevate him above the rest of the group with true front-runner money. 

The Manhattan event Thursday was the 2nd stop of a multi-state fund-raising swing that will take Romney across the U.S. and to at least 20 to 30 cities to meet with key fund-raisers.

Another component to factor into Romney's financial prowess: he has yet to signal how much of his own formidable funds he may use for his likely 2012 campaign.