WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney spent almost $20.5 million in the second quarter on his campaign, nearly double the party front-runner Rudy Giuliani, according to election filings made public on Friday.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a wealthy investment banker, has trailed in opinion polls but has been gaining some steam after spending heavily on advertising in New Hampshire and Iowa, which hold early contests for the party’s nomination.
He ended the second quarter with more than $12.1 million on hand after raising $14 million and giving himself a $6.5 million loan. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, raised $17.6 million, spent over $11 million and had $18.3 million on hand.
All of Romney’s money is allocated for the primary campaign and he reported almost $9 million in debt. Giuliani had $3.3 million set aside for the general election and no debt.
They were among the first candidates to file detailed reports to the Federal Election Commission ahead of the Sunday deadline. Donors can give $2,300 to a candidate for the primary campaign and another $2,300 for the general election.
Democratic and Republican presidential contenders have been crisscrossing the country raising millions of dollars to fund their campaigns, pay for staff, and buy expensive advertising to attract voters ahead of the November 2008 election.
Romney spent almost $4.9 million on media during the second quarter, his biggest expense, as he tries to introduce himself to voters, while widely known Giuliani spent less than $1,000 on media, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks money in politics.
“Our challenge in this race is that we face opponents with universal name identification and Governor Romney is not as well known,” Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said. “We made a wise investment of resources that have yielded a valuable return.”
Giuliani’s largest cost was payroll, almost $1.7 million, whereas Romney spent $1.9 million during the second quarter.
Both candidates have had some trouble winning over conservative Republicans. Giuliani supports abortion rights and Romney once did but recently changed his views. Romney has also had faced questions about his Mormon religion.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who had been an early favorite for his party’s nomination, is expected to report that he has roughly $2 million in the bank after troubles raising money and high expenditures.
Republican presidential hopefuls all trailed the top two Democrats in fund raising. Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York raised about $27 million in the second quarter but she was bypassed by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois who hauled in $32.5 million.