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Mike Huckabee: Fundraising struggles not a concern

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee downplayed a steep polling and funding disadvantage Monday, contending his campaign is efficient enough to last well into the primary election cycle.

"People look at these numbers and they forget it's not how much you raise, it's what you do with it," Huckabee told CNBC's "Closing Bell." "We keep a low overhead. We run the campaign like most people wish the federal government would be run: very frugally."

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The former Arkansas governor's campaign committee reports it raised $3.2 million through September, 12th-most in the crowded Republican field. Huckabee notes the figures do not yet include his Super PAC's funds.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Waukee, Iowa.
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Waukee, Iowa.

His campaign ended the month with about $761,000 on hand. Huckabee finds himself with considerably less cash than rivals as he polls seventh in the primary race, according to aggregate national data from Real Clear Politics.

Despite the deficit nationally, Huckabee touted his campaign's strength in Iowa, a crucial early caucus state that he won in 2008. He contended he has built the "largest" effort on the ground in the state.

"I don't care what kind of money you have. If you don't build a ground game, you don't win," Huckabee said.