WASHINGTON -- The presidential campaign of Herman Cain has capitalized on his surge in the polls and recent media attention by raising more than $3 million in October, campaign manager Mark Block said in a CNN interview on Thursday.
"We've actually doubled in a little over a month, and that's what we're seeing in our grassroots activism growth," Block told CNN's Erin Burnett.
Block attributed some of that fundraising success to an unconventional campaign ad showing him taking a drag on a cigarette after touting Cain's candidacy.
The fundraising success also comes as Cain has reached his highest levels in the polls. The media and GOP debate organizers have taken notice as the former pizza mogul and radio show host has jumped ahead of such other well-known candidates as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich into a neck-and-neck race with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The Cain campaign had previously raised $2.8 million from July through September and $2.5 million ($500,000 of which was loaned to the campaign by the candidate) from April through June.
Raising $3 million in a month is standard fare for the top-tier candidates in the race. Romney brought in an average of $4.7 million per month from July through September, and Perry pulled in $5.7 per month over the same period of time. (President Barack Obama's campaign has dwarfed all of those by raising $14 million per month from July through September.) Cain's haul will ensure that he too can compete in the early primary and caucus states.
"It's a pretty healthy clip to be raising that kind of money," said Center for Responsive Politics spokesman Michael Beckel. "[Cain] ended the third quarter with a lot of momentum and the wind at his back, and it would appear that he is beginning to cash in on that momentum here in October."
The late fundraising surge is reminiscent of the primary campaign of the 2008 Iowa caucus winner, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. After a string of incredibly unsuccessful fundraising quarters--raising less than $3 million from January through September 2007 -- Huckabee caught traction with voters and raised $6.6 million from October through December 2007. That money allowed him to build a campaign structure in the early primary and caucus states that could reach out to Republican voters.
For the moment, Cain is incredibly popular with Republicans. In an Oct. 25 CBS/New York Times poll, he ranked higher than Romney and had, by far, the highest favorability rating of all the Republican candidates.
That kind of ardor is not embracing the other top fundraisers, Romney and Perry. The primary elections may test whether money can, in fact, buy love.
"Money doesn't necessarily guarantee success, but you need to have a certain dollar amount to compete," Beckel of the Center for Responsive Politics said. "This late surge can do nothing but help Herman Cain keep getting his message out."
The Cain campaign did not return a request for comment.
Update: Block claims in a National Review article that the Cain campaign raised $5 million in October, as opposed to $3 million.
WATCH the Herman Cain ad starring his campaign manager:
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