Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney flexed some serious muscle when he collected more than $10 million for his presidential primary bid on Monday, a show of force proving his intent on being the GOP frontrunner - at very least the financial one.
Gathered in a conference room at the Las Vegas Convention Center, more than 700 Romney supporters placed calls around the country, urging contributors to give the maximum $2,500 to his campaign. And gave they did.
The results are a strong indication of the national enthusiasm for Governor Romney and his pro-jobs platform, said Spencer Zwick, Romney's finance chair, according to the Washington Post.
The fundraising event was similar to one Romney held in Boston during his 2008 presidential bid, an effort that brought in $6.5 million in actual contributions and signed pledges. That entire campaign brought in $113 million -- $46.6 million of which he gave to himself.
Whether he will fund his own campaign this time around, Romney isn't telling.
With regards to my own resources and the campaign, that's counsel I'm going to keep with Ann and myself, he said, referring to his wife.
Nevertheless, the money he raised on Monday, he said, is a terrific start.
It really gives us the boost that we need at this early stage, he told reporters after a meeting with students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
One of Romney's top advisers was asked whether any of Romney's rivals could demonstrate the same sort of fundraising ability, and his answer was a simple, but resounding, No.
Nobody has copied it because it's hard to do, said longtime spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.
As in 2007, Romney is the first in the field of GOP hopefuls to hold a major fundraising event and, according to a campaign official, is expected to hold over 30 fundraisers between now and then when the quarter ends in June.
With Monday's haul - and with the bounty further fundraisers promise to bring in - there is little doubt about how financially formidable Romney will be.
Which begs the question: How will his competition fare?
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, despite his own personal wealth, isn't expected to be in the race long enough to accrue funds to challenge Romney's total; former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty lacks Romney's national network; and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has demonstrated the ability to raise millions, but hasn't decided whether run, the Washington Post reported. The same goes for Sarah Palin, who has yet to indicate at all her intention.
I think he's incredibly well positioned, said Meg Whitman, the former eBay chief executive who ran unsuccessfully for California governor last year. Nevada is a crucial state for Mitt Romney to win the nomination. He will be here a lot.