Clinton bests Obama in donor race

She raises $3 million more in quarter for primaries than rival

October 03, 2007|By Mike Dorning | Mike Dorning,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York raised $22 million during the past three months for the presidential primaries, out-raising Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and demonstrating surging momentum among Democratic donors.

For the first time this year, Clinton was more successful in recruiting new donors to her campaign than Obama, with her campaign reporting that it attracted 100,000 new donors in the last three months versus 93,000 new donors for the Obama campaign. Overall, the Obama campaign has amassed a larger donor list over the course of the year, reporting more than 350,000 donors.

The number of donors is a gauge of grass-roots enthusiasm for a candidate. And the Obama campaign has regularly sought to highlight the statistic as it argues that national polling data showing a lead for Clinton do not capture an "enthusiasm gap."

Clinton's strong fundraising performance during the usually slow summer months suggests mounting enthusiasm among her core supporters as she maintains her lead in the national polls.

The Clinton campaign reported raising $27 million overall during the third quarter, but $5 million of that is general election money that cannot be used in her campaign to win the nomination.

On Monday, Obama reported raising at least $20 million overall during the quarter, with at least $19 million of that available for use in his primary campaign effort.

To date, Clinton has raised $62 million for use in the primary and $17.6 million she can use only for the general election. Clinton also has transferred $10 million left over from her 2006 Senate re-election campaign that she can use for the presidential primary.

Obama has raised $75 million for the primary and $4 million that can be used only for the general election.

"We're going to have the resources we need to do what we need to do," said Obama strategist David Axelrod. "I congratulate her on edging us out on primary money this particular quarter, but the truth is both campaigns are going to be well fortified for the contest that lies ahead. And that's the bottom line."

Among Republicans, a top aide to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he would report contributions of nearly $10 million for the quarter, as well as a personal loan to his campaign of more than $6 million. That would bring his overall public contributions to about $45 million and his personal investment in his race to at least $16 million, for total receipts of more than $60 million.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has kept pace with Romney's fundraising in the past, has not disclosed his third-quarter totals. He has said his campaign income would be on a par with that of other Republicans.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona will report raising more than $5 million during the quarter, Republican sources said.

Mike Dorning writes for the Chicago Tribune. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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