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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