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Gingrich says he's raised more in October than Q3

By NBC's Jo Ling Kent and Alex Moe

CONCORD, NH and DES MOINES, Iowa-- While filing papers for the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, Newt Gingrich announced his campaign fundraising totals this month alone have surpassed the amount raised in the entire third quarter.

"As of today, [we] raised more money in October than we raised in the entire last quarter.  And we have more donors as of 2 days ago than we've had all the last quarter," Gingrich said.

Campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed to NBC News that Gingrich "surpassed the $800,000 mark today." According to the campaign, they have received 11,200 donations this month at an average of $75. Three out of four donors are first-time contributors.

This comes after Herman Cain said he'd been raising $1 million a week since Oct. 1. Gingrich's team gave no indication of how much exactly they've raised, just that it was more than the $808,000 it took in from July to September.

"There was a long stretch where we didn't have much resources and a lot of people thought we were dead," Gingrich told reporters.

Gingrich - who recently expanded his staff and hired a New Hampshire state director, Andrew Hemingway - also hired a former Michele Bachmann staffer. Matt LeDuc recently left the Bachmann campaign in the Granite State during the staff exodus this week, Hemingway confirmed to NBC News today.

The former House Speaker called this an "upward swing that gives us the resources to be more competitive" across the country. The Gingrich campaign's Iowa headquarters will be officially opening in the coming weeks.

"If we continue to improve at this pace, I think we'll be able to run a full-blown campaign and be totally competitive in terms of advertising and other things by the time we get to early January," Gingrich said.

“Money translates into ground game and ground game is important in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina,” Hammond said. The addition of paid Iowa staffers is forthcoming.

Gingrich also declared his commitment to competing in the New Hampshire primary, arguing that front-runner Mitt Romney will face a challenge in the state's contest despite the former Massachusetts governor's strong poll numbers that put him in a double-digit lead in the state.

"I do not believe that Governor Romney has a lock on this state," Gingrich said. "The governor has a strong lead here, but the campaign has only begun in terms of ideas and issues and drawing contrast." 

Gingrich is polling nationally at 8 percent, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

When asked why he felt momentum in his campaign, Gingrich credited his recent debate performances and criticized his fellow candidates.

"I do think that bickering is destructive for the Republican Party," he said of the debates. "I think that it diminishes the respect people have for the process..I think it's bad for the party."