By Justin Sink
Mitt Romney raised $14.2 million between July and September from almost 56,000 contributors, his campaign announced Friday, the day before the reporting deadline for third-quarter fundraising.
The former Massachusetts governor's haul was almost $4 million less than what he took in during the three months prior, and puts him second behind competitor Rick Perry for the biggest amount raised during the quarter. Other candidates have yet to release their numbers, but are expected to pull in much less.
Perry raised almost $3 million more than Romney despite entering the presidential race halfway through the quarter, on Aug. 13.
But after quickly pulling ahead of Romney in national polls, the governor of Texas has stumbled, turning in a several uneven performances in GOP debates and enduring missteps on the campaign trail. Perry has seen businessman Herman Cain and Romney top him in recent polls of GOP voters.
Perry's $17 million quarter opened eyes and indicated he would be competitive in the fundraising department with Romney, who sunk about $40 million of his own wealth into his 2008 campaign for president. Romney has not yet donated personal money to his 2012 campaign.
Romney also reported ending the month with $14.65 million in the bank, putting him on level ground with Perry, who reported $15 million.
Candidates are required to submit third-quarter numbers to the Federal Election Commission by Saturday. Texas Rep. Ron Paul has already announced that he raised $8 million, but Cain has so far been quiet on fundraising totals, saying just that the campaign had "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on hand.
—Josh Lederman contributed.