Romney campaign spent three times what it raised in January

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign spent three times what it raised in fundraising in January. 

Romney, who is now fighting off former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) for the GOP nomination, saw his Romney for President campaign fund take in $6.5 million in January. He started the month with $19.9 million on hand and ended it with $7.7 million in the bank, as expenditures were nearly triple the amount the campaign was able to raise.  

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Romney for President’s fundraising in January was down nearly $5 million from December’s haul, although the first month in each new quarter has consistently been the lowest of the cycle for the Romney campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor has seen Santorum pull ahead in national polls and in Michigan, the site of a key primary next week. Because Romney's father was once Michigan's governor, it is seen as home turf for Romney, and a loss could be detrimental. 

Since the campaign began, Romney has had a huge edge in fundraising over the other Republicans in the race, including Santorum. But Santorum has seen his fundraising take off since his trio of victories two weeks ago in contests in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. 

Still, the Romney campaign said it was confident it was the only campaign that could go the distance in the race. 

“We have exceeded our fundraising goals and are on track with spending plans,” Romney for President National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick said in a statement. “We are the only campaign who has the organization and resources to go the distance of a long primary process. We know there is a long road ahead and we will remain steady.”

The pro-Romney super-PAC, Restore Our Future, which by law cannot coordinate with the campaign, also announced its January fundraising figures on Monday, taking in nearly $7 million while spending twice that amount. Super-PACs supporting Romney have spent millions on negative ads against other candidates, which helped Romney pull out a major victory in Florida, where Newt Gingrich challenged him last month. 

Many have attributed Romney’s heavy spending in Florida’s expensive media markets for sinking the Gingrich campaign following his convincing victory in the South Carolina primary.

The super-PAC has now turned its sights on Santorum ahead of the hotly contested Michigan and Arizona primaries later this month, portraying the former Pennsylvania senator as a lifelong Washington insider who contributed to the culture of overspending and waste.

The Romney campaign and super-PAC were noticeably quiet in the days leading up to the Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri contests, which might have been a mistake considering Santorum's victories and the momentum he gained from those wins. 

—This story was updated at 9:10 a.m.