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Will Ryan's fundraising boost Romney's campaign? (+video)

Before joining Mitt Romney's ticket, Paul Ryan's congressional campaign had brought in more funds than many of its counterparts. Ryan's biggest donors are in the financial sector. It remains to be seen whether he can attract grassroots support. 

By Alina Selyukh and Alexander Cohen and Sam ForgioneReuters / August 14, 2012

Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) gestures as he speaks at a campaign stop at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colorado.

REUTERS/Evan Semon

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WASHINGTON/NEW YORK

Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who has breathed new life into Republican Mitt Romney's bid for the White House as his vice presidential running mate, also brings to the ticket his status as a fundraising heavyweight.

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CBS News political director John Dickerson talks to Anthony Mason and Rebecca Jarvis about the race both political parties are in to define Paul Ryan.

During his 14-year career in Congress, Ryan has been propelled by sizeable donations from insurance companies and other players in the financial sector, including notable hedge fund names.

Ryan's campaign has so far reported raising $4.3 million this election cycle, with $5.4 million in cash on hand as of July 25, making it one of the top fundraising congressional campaigns this year.

His leadership Prosperity PAC, or political action committee, has collected another $3.7 million this cycle.

The biggest contributors behind Ryan this cycle are family members and employees of Elliott Management, a Wall Street hedge fund run by prominent Republican donor Paul Singer, who has helped raise millions for the party, including for Romney.

Now, as Romney's vice presidential pick, Ryan is already energizing donors, especially those on the Wall Street scene.

Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner at alternative investment firm SkyBridge Capital LLC, said people in the hedge fund community with whom he has spoken are "ecstatic" about the Ryan choice.

"Of everybody in the Republican leadership, there's nobody that understands pro-growth economic policies and how massive deficit spending can actually lead to a drag on job creation better than Paul Ryan," said Scaramucci.

Scaramucci, who is one of the eight co-chairs of Romney's National Finance Committee, gave $5,000 last year to Ryan's Prosperity PAC.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the campaign raised $7.4 million through 101,000 online donations in the 72 hours after naming Ryan as Romney's vice presidential running mate.

It is hard to judge whether that was a boost from the previous pace. In July, Romney raised an average of just under $3.3 million a day for his campaign and the Republican party - adding up to about $9.8 million in 72 hours. But that amount includes both smaller donations submitted online and other, generally bigger checks submitted in person or by mail.

Big Names

Ryan, a 42-year-old Washington insider who has spent practically his entire career on Capitol Hill, has in recent years garnered national attention for his dramatic proposals to slash the federal budget.

The campaign money has followed.

Financial firms went all-out for Ryan in the 2010 election cycle, when Republicans swept into the majority in the House of Representatives and Ryan became chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee.

That year, Ryan received nearly $500,000 from the securities and investment industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.

According to CRP, top givers included Elliott employees with $35,419, and Affiliated Managers Group, a Massachusetts-based asset manager, with $22,666.

Ryan also received $23,364 from SAC Capital Advisors, one of the world's biggest and most successful hedge funds that is run by billionaire Steven Cohen.

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