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Finance reports offer insight into GOP field

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Friday, July 15 2011 2:00 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this May 25, 2011, file photo Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty speaks to the media in Washington. The former Minnesota Governor said Wednesday, July 13 2011, he won’t sign a pledge written by a conservative Iowa group that asks presidential candidates to denounce same-sex marriage rights, pornography and forms of Islamic law. He is the second major candidate to decline the pledge, following former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision Tuesday. Two Republicans, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, have signed it.

Alex Brandon, File, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — With six months to go before the first votes are cast, Republican presidential contenders are disclosing how much cash they have available — and how much debt they have to overcome — to win the GOP's nomination.

Federal election reports are due Friday and are expected to offer an early glimpse into how viable each of the 2012 candidates remains. A pecking order in a topsy-turvy field could become clearer through required quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission.

While money doesn't directly translate into votes, it does pay for crucial television ads to introduce the candidates, polling to measure whether the messages are working and staff to run the mechanics of a national election.

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