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Romney Raises "Less Than $20 Million" in Second Quarter

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(AP)

Senior Romney Campaign officials tell FOX News that when they file their fundraising paperwork, due by midnight June 30, it will show the GOP presidential frontrunner brought in "less than $20million."

These Romney Aides assure FOX News they are not playing the traditional ‘expectations game' by saying the number will be less than $20 million now, only to announce within the next few days that they actually broke that barrier.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's latest fundraising number, which will most likely be leaked in the coming days, is widely expected to lead the GOP presidential pack. So, at this juncture, Mr. Romney is in some ways competing more against himself, former frontrunners and nominees, than he is the current crop of rivals.

It is also useful to remember that money alone does not win elections, just look at Meg Whitman, the 2010 California Republican gubernatorial candidate who spent over $140 million of her own money in a losing effort.

However, good fundraising is always seen as an early sign of organizational strength and energy within a campaign.

By this time in the 2008 presidential cycle most of the candidates had been in the race and raising money for considerably longer, meaning this was their second active quarter of fundraising. Whereas, here in the 2012 cycle, the second quarter is really the first test of active fundraising.

By way of comparison:

In 2007 the eventual Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain raised $11.6 million, while Romney himself raised just under $21million. However back then that number also included the millions of dollars Romney was infusing his campaign from his own personal fortune. By June 30 of 2008 Romney had poured just under $9 million of his own money into the race, by contrast aides tell us the candidate has spent none of his own money on the campaign this time around... So far.

On the Democratic side Senator Hillary Clinton raised $27 million during the second quarter of 2007, while the eventual nominee, President Barak Obama raised $33 million.

Back in the 2000 presidential cycle , eventual Republican nominee, President George W. Bush raised over $29.5 million during the second quarter of 1999.