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A hefty advantage for Obama
Question of the Day
The day before Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that it had received $26 million in contributions during the first quarter, campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle sent supporters an e-mail that said the January-March total "will set the tone of the race for months to come." Three days later, Barack Obama's campaign revealed that its first-quarter contributions totaled $25.7 million. It later developed that Mr. Obama's total included $24.8 million that could be used for the presidential primaries. That was about $6 million more than the contributions Mrs. Clinton had received for the primary campaign.
For second-quarter fund-raising, the totals are even more shocking. The Obama organization announced Sunday that its candidate collected $31 million in primary-campaign contributions during the April-June period. That was $10 million more than the Clinton campaign raised in the second quarter for primary contests. Mrs. Clinton also raised about $6 million last quarter for the general election, while Mr. Obama collected $1.5 million earmarked for the post-convention campaign. (General election money cannot be spent before the convention.)
For the first six months of 2007, Mr. Obama has raised more than $58 million, nearly $56 million of which is available for the primary campaign. For the January-June period, Mrs. Clinton collected $53 million in contributions, $40 million of which can be spent on during the primaries. After raising $52 million for her 2006 Senate re-election campaign, Mrs. Clinton transferred $10 million of those funds to her presidential campaign earlier this year. Thus, through the first six months of 2007, she accumulated $50 million for the presidential primaries, about $6 million less than Mr. Obama, who has spent 30 months in the U.S. Senate.
Worth noting is that the $31 million in primary funds that Mr. Obama raised during the second quarter alone exceeds the $29.2 million that then-Vice President Al Gore and former three-term New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley had cumulatively raised during the first half of 1999 for their Democratic nomination contest. And the $58.2 million in total contributions that Mr. Obama has collected during the first half of this year exceeds the $56.5 million in contributions raised by all nine Democratic presidential candidates during the first half of 2003. Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush raised $37 million in the first half of 1999, and President Bush raised $35 million in the first half of 2003.
During the first quarter, Mr. Obama outraised Mrs. Clinton online by $6.9 million to $4.2 million. For the second quarter, he collected $10.3 million from 110,000 online donors. Nine out of 10 online donors to the Obama campaign have given $100 or less, which means they can be repeatedly tapped for the balance of 2007 and as the primary season unfolds. Altogether, Mr. Obama had 154,000 donors in the April-June period and 258,000 donors during the first half of 2007. For obvious reasons, the Clinton campaign declined to reveal the size of its donor base.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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