WASHINGTON Mitt Romney's presidential campaign said on Wednesday it raised $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, leaping up from $14 million in the third quarter, as he cemented his status as the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination.
The campaign has raised more than $56 million so far in the primary election season and has $19 million in cash on hand.
The strong fundraising means Romney has a substantial warchest as he strives for a third consecutive victory in the state-by-state race for the Republican nomination to oppose President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the general election in November.
It was more good news for the former Massachusetts governor, a day after he took a giant step toward the nomination by winning New Hampshire's primary with 39 percent of the vote, far ahead of any of his rivals.
Romney had narrowly won Iowa's caucuses, the first contest of the nomination race, a week earlier.
The campaign said it had raised no money for the general election during that period.
"Mitt Romney's growing financial support is representative of the growing momentum for our campaign," his finance chairman Spencer Zwick said in a statement. "In order to defeat President Obama in November, we will need this continued strong showing of support."
Obama will have considerable resources in that fight, whether Romney wins the Republican nomination or not. The president's campaign expects to raise at least the $750 million it had in 2008 but plays down suggestions it is aiming for a $1 billion warchest.
The Romney campaign said it received contributions from all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Romney, a multi-millionaire, did not make a personal loan or contribution to his own campaign.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Jeff Mason; Editing by John O'Callaghan)