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Sweet column: Obama beats Clinton in cash dash: Raises $31 million for primary; $10 million more than Clinton.

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WASHINGTON -- White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) beat chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in second-quarter fund-raising, hauling in about $32.5 million with $31 million available for the primary.

"We are on a financial course that will allow us to both fully fund efforts in the early primary and caucus states, and also participate vigorously in all the February 5 contests, including large states like California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia and Missouri," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a memo released Sunday.

The money is a likely record-breaking collection in terms of the amount raised for the last three months and in number of donors -- 158,000 individuals. Last week, Clinton's campaign said she will have raised about $27 million for the second quarter. Her campaign said about $21 million of that was for the primary, which means there is more than a $10 million spread between the front-runners in primary collections. Reports to be filed later in the month will reveal the names of donors and how much cash is on hand.

A candidate can collect a maximum of $2,300 per person for the primary and another $2,300 for the general, money that can be tapped into only if the candidate becomes the nominee.

Cash is no guarantee of success
In assessing who has more money, the number that is meaningful is the primary amount.

Unlike the first quarter, where Clinton was encouraging donors to max out for both the primary and general elections, Clinton in the last three months was mainly hunting for primary money.

Money alone does not guarantee success in the crucial early primary states, especially Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2004, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had more money but still lost the Iowa caucus.

In the money race, there remains a wide gulf between the Democratic front-runners and their closest rivals, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Friday, Richardson's team announced it raised $7 million -- giving him some bragging rights because it put him near the $9 million the Edwards camp announced Sunday.

Martha Burk, a senior adviser for Richardson, said Sunday: "I think it is significant that he is as close to Edwards as he is. ... It represents progress. ... We are coming up."

The Edwards camp on Sunday said they will have enough money stockpiled for the Iowa showdown vote -- tentatively in January but possibly earlier -- to be competitive.

But Edwards, even if he wins Iowa -- he is running first in polls -- may not be able to fund full primary efforts in other battlegrounds, the point Plouffe was making in his memo.

"The momentum coming out of the early states is going to determine the nomination," said Edwards deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince in a conference call with reporters Sunday.

258,000 donate to Obama
Obama's fund-raising power has yielded him at least $55.7 million from 258,000 donors since he jumped into the race in February. Clinton, with $26.1 million moved to her presidential fund in the first quarter, is at a $53 million estimated total.

The Obama campaign is well on the way to breaking fund-raising records. Bloomberg News said "Obama's $32.5 million is more than the $30.8 million raised by all Democratic presidential candidates combined for the same period four years ago, and all but matches the $35 million that President Bush raised in the second quarter of 2003."

4 Comments

Obama`s fundraising doesn`t translate into vote. Not only is Hillary trouncing Obama in the polls but her lead is getting wider. There is no enthusiasm for Obama from the democratic base and that is why he is leading in only one state South Carolina. Obama won`t do as well as Jessie Jackson did in 1984 who won 5 primaries. It is an outrage the way people in the media promote the candidacy of Obama and treat him like the front runner when there is no support and enthusiasm for him among democrats who actually vote in the primaries.

I am amused how everyone keeps bringing up Howard Dean in comparing the feats Of Barack Obama. Howard Dean ran an extraordinary campaign but, he is the only Howard Dean. obama is himself. not someone else. You cannot compare two separate people.
Dean imploded because of a series of things and the media is hoping the same for Obama so he is no longer a threat to their corporate candidate, Hillary.
And despite the hillary campaign doing stealth things like Hillaryis 44 and planting a series of negative stories about Obama while the press abides it, while the media gushes endlessly over her and spins things in her favor (including the debates where it was the pundits who said she won. The people, the ones who vote, picked Obama) Barack Obama just keeps defying them.
I noticed today how the onair media has buried the story because it is not about Hillary and her fabulousness. But, this still will not stop Obama.
he has huge support among the people. Most of his stunning record haul was from people like me who sent in 25 or 5 or 100 dollar donation because they believe in him. And his support is not just loyal but, very deep. Hillary's is soft and unsettled.
So, we will see how much time is devoted to gushing on the billary Iowa circus and how much is devoted to the fact that Obama is much stonger and Hillary is much weaker than is thought.

Forget about the candidates' financial assets. When it comes to political liabilities, Hillary is loaded!

I would like to see both Senaotrs Clinton and Obama support more international affairs. Problems like global poverty are affecting each and every one of us on a daily basis. The U.S should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to end world hunger by the year 2025. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 2, 2007 6:35 AM.

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