(Reuters) - Republicans vying for their party’s nomination and a shot at unseating President Barack Obama next year are off to a slow start in the race to amass the millions of dollars needed to run a presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, the Obama camp is moving into full fund-raising mode and the president is expected to top $1 billion for his 2012 re-election bid, up from his record $750 million in 2008.
Official totals for the first half of the year will come out in July. Here’s a glance at how Republicans are faring on fund-raising:
Former Massachusetts Governor and millionaire businessman Mitt Romney may be the closest the Republicans have to a front-runner.
His Free and Strong America political action committee (PAC) raised $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2011, according to the campaign.
Romney stepped up fund-raising this month, raising more than $10 million with backers “dialing for dollars” in just one day last week.
Among the biggest donors to Romney’s PAC in 2010 were executive, employees or the political committees of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Blackstone Group.
Romney has also raised money through state political action committees. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Romney raised $1.6 million in 2010 through state PACs, and gave out about $393,000 to state candidates.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty hit the national stage in 2008 when his name showed up on John McCain’s short list of potential Republican vice presidential candidates.
Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC raised $3.4 million during the 2010 election cycle and spent $3.2 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Big contributions came from Morgan Stanley, Citadel Investment and Comcast Corp.
Pawlenty raised about $338,000 from state-level PACs in 2010 and disbursed $167,000 of that, according to the NIMSP.
An April 15 quarterly FEC filing showed his exploratory committee had contributions of $160,000 and spent about $43,000.
Again, these numbers are deceptive because his fund-raising activities have increased since the quarter ended. For example, Pawlenty raised $800,000 in Chicago and Texas at recent events, according to a campaign source.
Pawlenty held his biggest fund-raiser of the quarter on May 18, a hometown fete with the priciest tickets going for $2,500 per person.
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor has major star power but has been coy about whether she will run. Her SarahPAC raised $5.7 million during the 2010 election cycle and spent about $4.4 million, according to CRP.
If she doesn’t run, eyes will be on where she will throw her weight -- and cash.
SarahPAC has not yet filed contributions data for the first quarter of this year.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives was the main architect of the 1994 Republican congressional election victory and author of the “Contract with America” political manifesto.
His American Solutions for Winning the Future fund-raising group has raised $52 million through the end of 2010 since its creation in 2007, according to CRP.
In the 2010 cycle, Gingrich raised $28 million and spent about that amount, making his the richest among similar groups in that period.
Gingrich’s American Solutions PAC raised about $737,000 during the 2010 cycle, and has raised $54,150 so far this year.
Former Utah Governor Huntsman served as ambassador to China before resigning to consider a presidential run. He is the son of billionaire Jon Huntsman, chairman of chemical company Huntsman Corp.
Huntsman, who returned from China in late April and lives in Washington, formed a PAC earlier this month called H-PAC.
The congresswoman from Minnesota is a leader of the House Tea Party caucus and would be a fund-raising force if she ran.
She has been especially proficient at raising big money through small donations, according to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics, which found that 75 percent of her contributions have come from those giving $200 or less.
Bachmann’s campaign committee and leadership PAC raised more than $14 million during the 2010 election cycle, and spent about $12 million of that on candidates.
So far in 2011, her MichelePAC raised nearly $705,000, according to regulatory filings.
Paul, who has formed an exploratory committee, is an anti-war Republican congressman from Texas who ran unsuccessfully for the 2008 nomination.
He raised $35 million from small donations from a fervent group of backers during the 2008 campaign but failed to win any primary or caucus.
During the 2010 election cycle, he and his PACs raised about $1.2 million, according to CPR.
Corrects paragraph 7 to say Goldman executives and employees, and its political committees gave to Romney, not the company itself.