Romney raises $24 million in the 4th quarter, helped by establishment money from New York

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Mitt Romney. (mittromney.com)
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On the heels of a big victory in New Hampshire last night, Mitt Romney's campaign released its fund-raising numbers for the fourth quarter this morning, posting an impressive $24 million haul.

Among other factors contributing to his success, Romney has long dominated among conservative donors in New York, where he maintains a virtual monopoly on their money. Just after the start of the fourth quarter, when it became clear that another credible challenger was not going to emerge (Ron Paul, as in the last election, has been a non-starter for these establishment types), some of the city's biggest bundlers came around to his campaign, bolstering his numbers in what is supposed to be the slow months for raising money. 

Romney's events, even through the winter, have regularly featured hundred-person host committees, with donors sometimes joking about the fact that they've got no realistic alternatives.

He's raised a total of $56 million so far, all for the primary, with $19 million left on hand.

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The challenge for Romney's fund-raisers now is to squeeze more blood from the stone. After his most recent visit last month, the campaign sent an email asking its bundlers to keep mining their "exhausted" rolodexes, in part by selling new donors on Romney's momentum, after what were expected to be two good showings in the early states.

Romney returns to the city on Tuesday for a "massive" event at the Sheraton.

As of the end of September, Romney had raised a total of approximately $2 million from donors based in and around New York City, and approximately $3.5 million from donors in New York State. 

None of this takes into account the millions of dollars that have been donated to and spent by lightly regulated "super PACs" on Romney's behalf.