- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2007

Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign last night reported spending more than he raised over the past three months, and his campaign has less money available than some lower-tier Republican candidates.

Mr. McCain reported raising $11.6 million and spending $13.1 million between April 1 and June 30, and had $3.2 million cash on hand but was $1.8 million in debt. That places him far below the resources of the top two candidates, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and even below Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, whose campaign raised $2.4 million and has $2.4 million cash on hand without any debt.

Other than Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Romney and Mr. Paul, the rest of the Republican field suffered a rough quarter, with most exceeding or coming close to spending more than they raised during the period. That indicates they will have a difficult time remaining competitive in a long-haul campaign that still has six months before the first convention delegate is won.

Reports for the period from April through June were due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight.

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson each reported spending more than they raised during the second quarter, with Mr. Thompson’s campaign falling into the red when his debt is matched against his available cash. Faring better is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose income slightly exceeded his spending.

Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, a Republican, also spent more than he raised, ending more than $60,000 in the red. Mr. Gilmore dropped out of the race Saturday, a day before he filed his report.

That suggests an opening for former Sen. Fred Thompson, who is flirting with a campaign. Polls show he would instantly join former Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani at the top of the Republican pack.

On the Democratic side, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s fundraising and frugal spending continue to push him into the second tier, along with former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. With more than $7 million raised last quarter, Mr. Richardson put distance between himself and others such as Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, two candidates with long resumes similar to his.

“This is more proof that the governor’s focus on grass-roots campaigning — shaking hands, attending house parties and community events, working tirelessly to meet voters — is working,” said Amanda Cooper, Mr. Richardson’s deputy campaign manager.

Mr. Richardson said he does not think he will need to raise as much money as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York or Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, both Democrats and the two top fundraisers among either party, who have topped $20 million per quarter both times this year.

Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Dodd spent more than they raised, though Mr. Biden still has $2.8 million cash on hand and Mr. Dodd has $6.4 million to spend.

Mr. Edwards raised $9.1 million during the period, and reported $13.3 million cash on hand, nearly $3 million more than his last report three months ago. That means Mr. Edwards also is raising money faster than he is spending it, putting him in solid shape for the next six months.

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