- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign yesterday announced that he had raised more than $1 million per day in January, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney filed federal reports for the end of 2007 showing that he had loaned his own campaign nearly twice what it raised from individual donors.

The $32 million in donations to Mr. Obama, a record for the month, came during the interest generated by the start of actual voting as the Illinois senator won primaries in Iowa and South Carolina.

Obama campaign officials said the cash surge provides the funds needed as Mr. Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton compete beyond the upcoming Super Tuesday race in 22 states, including New York and California.

Midnight yesterday was the deadline for all presidential candidates to report their fundraising totals for the fourth-quarter of 2007.

Those filings showed Mr. Romney had loaned his campaign $18 million during the fourth quarter last year, nearly twice the $9,027,461 that he raised in that period from individual donors. Overall, the former Massachusetts governor loaned $35.4 million from his personal fortune to the race, while other contributions total $53.5 million.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has not released her January fundraising totals, which are not required until Feb. 20.

“It’s difficult to overstate the significance of this,” said Jeremy Mayer, a political analyst and George Mason University professor. “It’s unprecedented. All along political observers have wondered how could anyone ever afford to run in California and New York and across the country at the same time.”

“Here, for the Democrats every state is up for grabs. I’m not aware of anyone conceding a state. What we have is Obama jumping ahead in the money game, and that gives him the ability to run more television ads.”

During the fourth quarter last year, Mrs. Clinton reported raising $27.3 million while spending $39.8 million. Overall, Mrs. Clinton raised $118 million in 2007, while spending $80.3 million. She reported $37.9 million cash on hand entering 2008.

Mr. Obama raised $22.8 million during the fourth quarter and spent nearly $41 million, according to reports. Overall for 2007, he raised $102 million while spending $84.5 million.

Mrs. Clinton still is benefiting far more than any other presidential candidate through the millions of dollars being spent by independent political action groups on her behalf, records show.

Led by labor unions and the pro-choice group Emily’s List, independent political action committees, or PACs, reported spending nearly $5.1 million since September to directly oppose or support presidential candidates.

More than $3 million alone went to efforts to elect Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

Independent groups operate on their own and legally cannot strategize with candidates or their campaigns.

Mr. Obama has said his campaign won’t accept donations from federal lobbyists or PACs. He also pledged to ask independent groups spending on his behalf to discontinue advertising during the primaries.

“These buys can make a difference in smaller, less-expensive states,” said Bradley Smith, a former FEC commissioner.

Fundraising success didn’t translate to wins for some Republicans, campaign filings show.

Despite a poor showing in Florida that prompted him to drop out of the race, former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani reported $12.8 million cash on hand entering the new year.

Overall, Mr. Giuliani raised nearly $62 million last year, including $14.4 million during the fourth quarter.

By contrast, Arizona Sen. John McCain’s campaign took in $42.1 million and reported less than $3 million cash on hand at the end of the year. During the fourth quarter, he raised $10 million and spent $10.5 million. He also reported more than $4.5 million in debt.

But Mr. McCain’s year-end report doesn’t reflect donations since his primary wins in New Hampshire and Florida, which will give his campaign a big fundraising boost.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won in Iowa, reported less than $2 million cash on hand entering 2008. Still, he raised $6.5 million of his nearly $9 million last year during the fourth quarter.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide