Cain's fundraising surges past $9 million

Herman Cain has raised more than $9 million since Oct. 1, his campaign announced Thursday, more than doubling his cash haul for 2012.

More than $2 million of that total was donated within the last 10 days, as Cain battled mounting allegations of sexual harassment from his time as president of the National Restaurant Association.

Cain only raised $4.7 million from May through Sept. 30, although it was not until his Sept. 24 victory in the Florida straw poll that the candidate began to rise in Republican polls. The campaign has now raised a total of $14.1 million.

"Mr. Cain’s vision to renew our country and create new jobs via his bold “9-9-9 Plan” is resonating across America,” said Mark Block, Cain's chief of staff. “Mr. Cain’s business experience and executive leadership is needed to put America back on the track to prosperity. Voters want to be part of the Cain Train so they are donating their time, talent and treasure to make sure Mr. Cain is our next president.”

The growing war chest will be important for Cain as he looks to translate his popularity into electoral success —and prevent the sexual harassment claims from derailing his insurgent bid. 

The former Godfather's pizza CEO went up with his first television ad in Iowa Thursday, and bought Internet ads earlier this week that show up when someone searches on Google for information about the harassment claims against him. Cain also dramatically expanded his staff in October, bringing in a cadre of new advisers.

Still, Cain has some catching up to do in fundraising. Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised $17.2 million in the third quarter alone, while front-runner Mitt Romney brought in $14.2 million. Both those totals exceed Cain's fundraising for the entire campaign.

But Cain is on pace for a $20 million quarter, and should be able to match his opponents in terms of resources. The candidate has pointed to his fundraising improvement as signal that voters reject the harassment allegations and stand by him.

"Yesterday, with the firestorm, was one of our best fundraising days online since the campaign started — one of the best ones ever," Cain told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.

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