Barack Obama Celebrates While John McCain Downsizes

The second quarter fundraising is over, and Barack Obama comes out big. Obama’s campaign raised a record $31 million dollars in the last three months. His biggest rival Hillary Clinton raised $10 million less with only $21 million. But both figures break any fundraising efforts by any other Democrat, and we are still 16 months away from the election. Obama’s money came from 258,000 donors this past six months, and the average contribution is under $300. This means he can can tap these same donors again. “Together, we have built the largest grass-roots campaign in history for this stage of a presidential race,” Obama said in a statement Sunday. “That’s the kind of movement that can change the special interest-driven politics in Washington and transform our country. And it’s just the beginning.” The Clinton camp has not disclosed how many donors she had. John Edwards raised about 9 million, which exceeded his goals, and he claims about 100,000 donors in the first 6 months. Bill Richardson did better the second quarter with about $7 million raised. Chris Dodd reported about $3.25 million raised with about $6.5 million still on hand to spend. These are all estimates and we won’t know the real figures until July 15 when they have to file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. Only one Republican disclosed his second quarter figures, and they were disappointing. John McCain raised only $11.2 million this past quarter, which is less than he raised the first quarter. It was such a disappointment that McCain had to cut staff and salaries of those who stayed around on the sinking ship. The campaign said they only had about $2 million in the bank right now. “We need to downsize our operations,” said Terry Nelson, McCain’s campaign manager. “We face a difficult fundraising environment right now, and certainly difficult in comparison to what our Democratic counterparts are able to raise.”
According to the Federal Election Commission the Democratic contenders raised $95.2 million in the first quarter compared to only $62 million for the Republican candidates. This gap between Republican and Democrats will only get bigger when the final numbers are in on July 15. This is bad news for Republicans who traditionally raise more cash than Democrats. The Democrats are benefiting from President Bush’s unpopularity, and the country is looking for a change. Obama and Clinton should have enough cash on hand to buy commercials anywhere and anytime they like, while Republican front runner McCain might have to drop out of the race soon because of lack of cash. Even Richardson and Edwards will have enough money on hand to campaign heavy in the early voting states, and maybe make a difference.
Alan Cosgrove

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