Follow the money. The candidates fundraising figures from 2011, broken out day-by-day, tell the key stories of the cycle.
Romney And Perry Had The Best Fundraising Operations
The above chart, showing the average daily donation for each day the candidate was in the race from April 1 to Dec. 31 shows Romney and Perry had the strongest fundraising operation. Rick Santorum's average daily haul: just $5,564.39; Romney's: $194,412.31.
Romney Raised Almost As Much As The Rest Of The Field Put Together
Rick Santorum Couldn't Ever Raise Any Money
Even as he surged in Iowa, Santorum didn't see much of a fundraising bump. His 2011 moneybombs got him nowhere.
Bachmann's Campaign Wasn't Built to Win
She had no real fundraising operation. After an initial spike at the end of June (mostly the result of a single money-bomb), Bachmann's fundraising was basically nonexistent -- and unprepared to capitalize on her success in the Ames Straw Poll.