WASHINGTON--The 2008 fund-raising showdown between White House rivals Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is driving fund-raising to record levels of giving. With the second quarter closing on Saturday, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a memo the campaign expects to take-in at least $27 million, with Obama collecting "significantly" more in April, May and June.
"We expect to bring in about what we did in the First Quarter, or slightly more, which should put us in the range of $27 million. To put that figure in some perspective, it is more than any Democrat has ever raised in the second quarter of the “off” year. While that figure is record setting, we do expect Senator Obama to significantly outraise us this quarter. Bottom line is that both campaigns will raise a great deal of money and that we will have all the resources we need to compete and win," Wolfson said.
In Washington on Thursday at a fund-raiser aimed at women, Michelle Obama said the crowds coming to see Obama show "This is not curiosity, this is a movement."
The Obama campaign estimated that events in the Washington area on Wednesday and Thursday hauled in $1 million for Obama. Michelle Obama quipped that one of her daughters calls the Secret Service personnel assigned to Obama "Secret people."
The Obama campaign is on track to report about $30 million in second quarter donations, according to unofficial estimates from fund-raising observers. Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is lowering expectations, gauging second quarter collections at $9 million. A few weeks ago the Obama campaign was floating a $20 million number.
Meanwhile, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is engaging in a bit of media baiting in mounting a straw man argument in a direct e-mail appeal to supporters, designed to spur donors to give in time to run up second quarter numbers.
“Media pundits and Washington insiders are already speculating about our end of quarter fundraising totals," Plouffe wrote. "They claim the money we raise by this Saturday, June 30th, will determine the success or failure of our campaign," Plouffe wrote.
In the first quarter, Obama outraised Clinton in money raised for the primary campaign. Clinton socked more total money into her campaign fund--but that included money raised for the general election that would only be used if she were the Democratic nominee. The only real figure that counts is money raised for the primary contest. The Clinton campaign did not provide a breakdown of the $27 million estimate. Most of the money Obama is raising comes from checks for the primary.
Memo below from Howard Wolfson....
Simply put, this has been a great quarter for us.
Hillary won both debates, demonstrating an enormous command of the issues and the unique ability to take on tough challenges and achieve real results. Millions of Americans saw that Hillary has the strength and experience to bring the kind of change that the nation needs.
And then millions more Americans saw Hillary’s lighter side when she and President Clinton appeared in a video homage to the Sopranos that announced our campaign’s theme song.
With the second quarter coming to a close, I wanted to take a moment to update you on the key developments of the last three months and where the campaign is headed in the days ahead.
President Clinton hits the campaign trail with Hillary next week, when they’ll barnstorm together across Iowa. Later this month, he’ll campaign with Hillary in New Hampshire.
We know that President Clinton is a huge asset in this race. He’s uniquely positioned to talk about Hillary’s biography and her lifelong commitment to children and families because he knows her life’s story better than anyone.
As Hillary lays out her vision on the stump, he will be invaluable in filling in the details about her life, her background, and her accomplishments for Americans to get to know her better. For a preview of what he will say please go to: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/video/27.aspx
We expect to bring in about what we did in the First Quarter, or slightly more, which should put us in the range of $27 million. To put that figure in some perspective, it is more than any Democrat has ever raised in the second quarter of the “off” year. While that figure is record setting, we do expect Senator Obama to significantly outraise us this quarter.
Bottom line is that both campaigns will raise a great deal of money and that we will have all the resources we need to compete and win. Ultimately, this race will come down to the candidates themselves, their message and the quality of their campaigns. We feel very good about where the campaign stands, and our ability to win the primary and go toe-to-toe with any of the Republicans in the field.
As Mark Penn likes to say, people always ask “can Hillary win?” but he has never had this asked of someone who is already winning. This week's national polls underscore that observation.
According to the latest CNN, Newsweek and USA Today/Gallup polls, Hillary beats all of the leading GOP contenders head-to-head, and she has solidified double-digit leads in all of the national primary polls. She’s also leading in 34 out of the 36 states with recent primary polls, including the early states. Voters say she’s the candidate most likely to win the general election and the primary, and according to a June Washington Post/ABC poll, Hillary leads by nearly 50 points on the question of who has the best experience to be President.
One of the best examples of Hillary’s electoral strength is the incredible support she continues to receive from women. The campaign has developed a large and growing network of Women for Hillary nationally and in key states. From grassroots organizations like EMILY’s List and the National Organization for Women to respected leaders like Maya Angelou and Madeline Albright, Hillary is drawing key support from women who made up 54% of the electorate in 2004 and could be the “X-factor” in 2008.
In The States
We continue to ramp up our efforts in the early states, where we’re seeing growing grassroots excitement for Hillary’s candidacy. In Iowa, for example, Hillary has traveled across the state with Governor and Christie Vilsack, visiting the Four Corners while the campaign signs up thousands of caucus goers. In New Hampshire, volunteers have clocked over 2,000 hours volunteering on her behalf while an incredible 50 state legislators have thrown their support to her. In Nevada, the campaign has launched African American, Hispanic and Asian American/Pacific Islander Leadership Councils and racked up 108 endorsements. Local observers say Hillary’s superior state organization has helped her take a 20-point lead in the polls. In South Carolina, Hillary named former Governor Richard Riley a state campaign Co-Chair this week and won praise for her commencement address at historically black Claflin University.
News & Notes
Please check out the campaign’s news website, www.hillaryhub.com , which serves as a clearinghouse for the latest news, blog items and video clips on Hillary’s race. And be sure to watch tonight’s Democratic presidential forum on PBS at 9 p.m. EDT.
Finally, I hope you’ve seen coverage of Hillary’s recent policy speeches which have previewed the change she would bring to this nation. In Florida, she laid out a plan to establish universal pre-Kindergarten to give every child in America a head start on learning. In New Hampshire, she pledged to lift the ban on stem cell research and pursue life-saving treatments for millions of Americans. And in New Orleans, she outlined a proposal to rebuild the Gulf Coast and restructure our disaster response system. Hillary is the only candidate with a clear vision of how to move this country forward, and the experience to hit the ground running on her first day in the White House.
Thanks again for everything you do for Hillary and this campaign.