imageCongresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took a big step in establishing herself as a serious contender in the 2012 Presidential race should she run.  She reported today that in the first quarter of 2011 she raised more than $2 Million – $1.7 Million for her congressional re-election campaign and an additional $500,000 for Michele PAC.

Presidential candidates are legally allowed to transfer money from a campaign committee to a presidential campaign.  They can’t transfer money from a PAC.  This gives Bachmann a distinct advantage over the first quarter fundraising runner-up, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) who raised $1.8 Million for his Free and Strong America PAC.  None of that money can be transferred to a presidential campaign.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich all face the same issue… they have not reported their fundraising numbers yet.  Former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain and Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty both have formed Presidential Exploratory Committees and they can fundraise, but they have not yet disclosed their fundraising efforts.  Also Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) at the end of last year had $1.8 Million in the bank,, but he has not shown the same fundraising ability that Bachmann possesses.

Bachmann’s fundraising effort in the first quarter follows up her record-breaking House reelection campaign effort where she raised over $13.5 Million the most ever raised for a Congressional District race.  So at the start of the 2012 Iowa Caucus season, Congressman Michele Bachmann looks incredibly strong.

**Photo by Dave Davidson

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