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Jul 15, 2011 4:34 PM by Matt Stafford

Romney banks 9-to-1 cash edge over known rivals

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney leads all Republicans in the contest for campaign cash, outpacing his closest rival Tim Pawlenty, by a 9-to-1 margin in banked cash.

That highlights Romney's front-runner status among contenders hoping to go up against President Barack Obama in 2012.

While Romney's $12.6 million in the bank far outdistanced a spread-out GOP field, dollars don't always translate to votes. The chasm between Romney and his rivals suggested many Republican donors are waiting on the sidelines, watching the topsy-turvy campaign foment and the candidates finally start to engage one another.

Romney added more than $18 million to his account during the April-to-June fundraising period, aides said ahead of his official filing. Yet still came up short for his campaign's internal $50 million goal for the first half of this year.

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