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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Santorum Ends Shoestring Campaign

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Rick Santorum has dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination after running one of the most successful underfunded and unorganized campaigns. Perhaps the only campaign finance fact, however, that you need to know is this: Mitt Romney's super PAC spent more than $20 million attacking Santorum, while Santorum only raised $15.6 million through the end of February.

The Center for Responsive Politics runs down Santorum's fundraising, which was pretty terrible until he suddenly became Romney's chief competition after the other, better financed candidates fell amidst a comedy of errors, sexual harassment claims, and "Oopses." CRP writes, "The former Pennsylvania senator's campaign raised $15.6 million, which ranks him sixth among Republican candidates -- far behind Romney, who has raised $74 million; Ron Paul, $34.1 million; Newt Gingrich, $20.7 million; and even former candidates Rick Perry, $19.9 million, and Hermain Cain, $16.8 million. The vast majority of it was raised in the last few months. At the end of 2011, before his narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses, he had raised just $2.2 million, highlighting Santorum's rapid ascent and now fall as a candidate.

Santorum ran a campaign built on his conservative credentials, an area where Romney has been found wanting (in part through Santorum's arguments to that effect) by some Republicans. That may explain why no single industry broke out as the driving force behind him -- as Wall Street has been for Romney. Even Santorum's January fundraising burst brought support from a wide array of industries."

Foster Friess, the multi-millionaire Santorum super PAC supporter, will back Romney in the general election.

In the wake of Santorum's exit, the Romney campaign is pulling as many ads as possible from the air waves in Pennsylvania.

Newt Gingrich, whose zombified campaign still roams the Earth, just bounced a $500 check made out to the Utah Republican Party. The $500 fee was to qualify for the Utah ballot.

Politico reports that President Obama's campaign is working to respond quickly to attacks from outside groups, which will spend millions to defeat him.

Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-linked nonprofit group, is going up with a $1.7 million ad buy across a string of swing states. The ad is a response to the Obama campaign's response to the American Energy Alliance.

An anti-Dennis Kucinich super PAC that ran ads against him in his loss to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) was largely funded by one Ohio businessman.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is playing CYA over his $25,000 contribution to a super PAC dedicated to defeating incumbent members of Congress. Cantor is blaming freshman Rep. Aaron Schock (R-P90X) for asking him to support Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who Cantor supported in his primary fight against Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), by contributing to the Campaign for Primary Accountability. Blame is also being spread around to Cantor's staff, who he says are responsible for the error.

A super PAC for all seasons, including, in Maine, one against "sodomy based marriage."

Someone named Ron Paul is running a new ad in the Republican presidential primary race.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) raised $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. She is facing a tough reelection campaign against an as-yet-to-be-decided Republican challenger.

Best PAC Name Ever?: Everyone's Favorite Group/Socially Acceptable People Who Have Happy Funtime Ideas & Team.

AD WATCH

Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Too Much"
Market: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.
Buy: $1.7 million.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "President Obama Has Failed Florida Workers"
Market: Florida.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Jon Bruning
Spot: "Spending"
Market: Nebraska.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Jon Bruning
Spot: "Spending (Radio)"
Market: Nebraska.
Buy: Undisclosed.

TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.

Newt Gingrich (R), $13,014,518 to support, $18,885,161 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,548,235 to support, $20,914,763 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $3,054,324 to support, $6,927,290 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,748,218 to support, $214,158 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $288,453 to support, $979,322 to oppose. (+$6,155)
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

National Rifle Association of America Political Fund, $188,341 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
National Rifle Association of America Political Fund, $10,716 to oppose Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
Independent Source, $6,155 to support Barack Obama for President in New Mexico.
Raising Red Action Fund, $7,875 to support Sam Rohrer for Senate in Pennsylvania.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $51,232 to oppose Tim Murphy for Congress in Pennsylvania's 18th District.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Everyone's Favorite Group/Socially Acceptable People Who Have Happy Funtime Ideas & Team, Cambridge, Mass., Treasurer: Liam Greenwell.
Americans for America, Lacrescenta, Calif., Treasurer: Guy Burstein. (Super PAC)
Prosperity for Michigan, Lansing, Mich., Treasurer: Jennifer Satterlee. (Super PAC)

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.