Santorum gets big boost, takes $9 million haul in February

Rick Santorum raised $9 million in February, his campaign announced Wednesday evening.

That is double the biggest month he's had so far: Santorum raised $4.5 million in January, and just $2.2 million the entire year before.

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The big haul comes during a month in which he won three states and surged to the top of national polls, and underlines the momentum he's had since he won Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.

While Santorum spent heavily in Michigan, it is unclear how much of that money he has left for Super Tuesday. The numbers indicate he could be close to achieving financial parity with Mitt Romney, who was down to less than $8 million cash on hand at the beginning of January and has also spent heavily this month.

The numbers do not include either candidate's super-PAC numbers; so far, the outside group backing Romney has spent more than the one backing Santorum.

Romney's biggest advantage in the race was his large war chest, but he gave a hint Tuesday night that fundraising might become a priority.

In his victory speech in Michigan, he encouraged supporters to go to his website and donate, which he usually does not say.

I’m asking you to get out and vote. I’m asking you to go to mitt-romney-dot-com and pledge your support," Romney said. "I’m asking you to join in the fight for our freedom — and ensure that tomorrow will be better than today."

— This story was updated at 6:15 p.m.

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