One point in Perry's favor is the apparent lack of donor enthusiasm for the other GOP candidates in the field so far. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, for example, has raised just $18.3 million — less than he had at this point in 2008.
"Romney's fundraising totals speak volumes to the fact that a lot of people are on the sidelines still," Jones said.
Perry will also get help from as many as seven super PACs, a new type of political action committee that can raise unlimited funds from corporations and other sources barred at the federal level provided it remains independent from candidates and parties. Mike Toomey, an Austin lobbyist and former Perry chief of staff, has just set up a super PAC dubbed Make Us Great Again with Brint Ryan, a Perry donor and head of a Dallas accounting firm.
Separately, the Americans for Rick Perry super PAC has collected some $400,000 since opening its doors in late June. The group hopes to pull in $1.8 million by the end of the year, said national campaign director Bob Schuman, a California political consultant and veteran GOP operative.
Perry's allies predict that, as someone who appeals to both social and fiscal conservatives, he will have no trouble raising money from small donors.
Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas Republican party, said, "Money is not going to be one of his problems."
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.