Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty raised $4.2 million in campaign funds in the three months through June, his campaign said.
That is about $300,000 short of the campaign's $4.5 million goal, a campaign aide acknowledged to Hotsheet. And it is well below the $15 to $20 million putative front-runner Mitt Romney is expected to have raised.
Conant did not confirm how much cash on hand the candidate has. In addition, a Washington Post report suggests that some of the money raised is reserved for the general election and would not be accessible until Pawlenty received the nomination - if he received the nomination.
A deficiency in cash on hand could hurt Pawlenty's viability as a competitor in Iowa's Ames Straw poll this August, although a successful performance in that contest now seems more critical than ever for the candidate.
The Post reports that Pawlenty's fundraising slowed for about a week after what was widely perceived as a lackluster performance in the first major GOP debate on June 13. (The Post notes, however, that the Minnesota Republican's fundraising efforts picked up "considerably" in the last week of June.)
While Pawlenty is one of few Republican candidates to release his fundraising numbers so early on (the official filing deadline isn't until July 15), his $4.2 million total may disappoint some who hoped he would go head-to-head with Mitt Romney, who is largely considered to be the frontrunner in the race - particularly in light of the fact that Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., appears to have outpaced Pawlenty.
Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman, who entered the race just last week, announced today that he has collected $4.1 million. (Huntsman is said to have made a significant personal contribution to the campaign, although his camp says the figure amounted to less than half of the total amount.)
Romney has yet to report his earnings but political observers expect him to announce somewhere between $15 and $20 million.
Still, Conant told the Post that Pawlenty "begins the third quarter with more available cash-on-hand than the Republicans who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary had in July 2007."
President Obama has yet to release his fundraising figures for this period, but he announced via Twitter on Friday that it ended the fundraising period with contributions from 493,697 individual donors.