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Alice Keeney, Associated Press
FILE - Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. speaks in Charleston, S.C., in this photo taken June 29, 2011. Facing a Thursday deadline to report quarterly fundraising, Republican presidential hopefuls make final-hour pitches for contributions that will be an early measurement of their campaign's strength _ or potential weakness. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to report the largest haul.

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidates are busy pitching themselves to donors ahead of a Thursday fundraising deadline.

In person and through e-mails, the GOP field was looking to collect dollars that will be used to judge the campaigns' strengths or challenges. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seemed the contender to beat and spent Wednesday in Washington wooing donors.

Two of his advisers say Romney will report between $16 million and $20 million raised. The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the numbers ahead of the end of the quarter.

Other candidates were expected to trail; some could be in the red.

The campaigns have until July 15 to disclose their numbers but many were expected to release highlights ahead of that. Those sums will help still-undecided donors pick a candidate.