Politico reports that the money being raised at the beginning of this election cycle is already off the charts:
Republicans eyeing the 2012 presidential nomination are off to a similar pace as that of the super-charged 2008 cycle, according to a comparison of last year’s political action committee fundraising figures with those from the parallel year last cycle, 2005.
The $2.9 million Mitt Romney raised for his Free and Strong America PAC exceeds (even adjusted for inflation) the total of the top 2005 fundraiser, John McCain. Sarah Palin’s 2009 total of $2.1 million is more than any ’05 candidate other than McCain. And Tim Pawlenty’s $1.3 million matches Hillary Clinton’s 2005 sum.
The bottom line is that 2008 cycle had a deeper, bipartisan field, but the ’12 frontrunners — Romney, Palin, and Pawlenty — are raising serious dough.