We all know how big a factor money plays in Presidential elections - one of the biggest reasons Obama won in '08 was his ability to shatter fundraising records. So, it's no surprise that one of Candidate Thune's strengths is the deep pockets he already has.
The Politico Morning Score is predicting (as the FEC numbers roll in) that Thune will hold his title as the 2012 contender with the most money in the bank. They are betting that he will have around $7 million when his reports are disclosed. For comparison, the nearest candidate to him is Michelle Bachmann with $2 million.
In order to face Obama in 2012, the Republican nominee will need to have the leadership, funds, and personality to beat him - things that Thune certainly brings to the table.