- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 22, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton upped the tempo of her fundraising and her spending last month, only to be eclipsed by rival Sen. Barack Obama. At month’s end, with debts of nearly $9 million, her money was nearly spent and he was sitting atop $30 million in available cash.

Mr. Obama’s campaign spent at a rate of nearly $1.5 million a day in February, a crucial month that began with the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday and ended with both candidates marching to a showdown March 4 in Texas and Ohio. Mrs. Clinton, riding her best fundraising period yet, spent about $1 million a day on average.

But reports filed with the Federal Election Commission late Thursday showed that Mr. Obama set a single-month fundraising record, with more than $55 million in contributions.

Both Democrats ended up with more than $30 million in the bank, but Mrs. Clinton can’t use two-thirds of her cash on hand because it’s only for the general election. That and her debt left her with less than $3 million in the black. The debt doesn’t include the $5 million she lent her campaign in January.

Mr. Obama’s fundraising juggernaut is unprecedented and gave him a significant advantage this month as they prepared for a confrontation in Pennsylvania on April 22.

Mr. Obama’s spending edge continued into March. An analysis of ad spending between Feb. 10 and March 10 by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG had Mr. Obama spending $17 million to Mrs. Clinton’s $8.6 million.

Republican John McCain reported raising $11 million in February, a slight dip from January but still a better fundraising clip than he had last year. Now, as the presumed GOP nominee, Mr. McCain has embarked on an aggressive fundraising schedule in March to finance his campaign against the Democrats.

Mr. McCain reported $8 million cash on hand — $3 million of which is for the general election.

Mr. Obama, as the delegate and money leader in the race, has found himself staving off both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain in recent weeks. His campaign underscored the challenge in a fundraising appeal Thursday.

Campaign Money

Fundraising figures for February as released by the presidential candidates.

Barack Obama

Total receipts to date: $197.3 million, including $8.2 million for the general election

Total contributions to date: $193.7 million

Total spending: $158.5 million

February contributions: $55.4 million, including $1.25 million for the general election

February spending: $42.8 million

Cash on hand: $38.8 million.

Debt: $625,000.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Total receipts to date: $173.88 million, including $21.7 million for the general election.

Total contributions to date: $155.6 million

Total spending: $140.7 million.

February contributions: $34.5 million, including $1.2 million for the general election

February spending: $31.8 million.

Cash on hand: $33.2 million

Debt: $8.7 million

John McCain

Total receipts to date: $66.4 million, including $2.9 million for the general election

Total contributions to date: $60.2 million

Total spending: $58.4 million

February contributions: $11 million, including $374,307 for the general election

February spending: $8.8 million

Cash on hand: $8 million

Debt: $4.3 million

Source: Associated Press

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