New fundraising high in US race

The record-shattering presidential fundraising totals posted by Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards pose have raised questions over how the funds are spent.

New fundraising high in US race

The record-shattering presidential fundraising totals postedby Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards pose have raisedquestions over how the funds are spent.

While the money chase is an important gauge of politicalstrength, it is not the only measure that matters this early in the 2008election race.

 

The numbers shed no light on how wisely the campaigns arespending the millions they are taking in or how much money they have left.

 

With an increasing number of states rushing to holdprimaries in January and early February, candidates must be careful to buildthe state-by-state operations they need now while saving plenty of money forads later. The general election is not until November 2008.

In the 2004Democratic race, Howard Dean, then governor of Vermont, stunned his rivals byleading the field with a then-record $40 million as 2004 began, but he burnedthrough it quickly and the donations dwindled after poor showings in the earlyballoting.

Nospending details

On Sunday,Clinton and Edwards chose to announce only their money totals, they do not haveto make detailed fundraising and spending reports public until April 15.

Clinton'scampaign, which reported total receipts of $36m would not say how much of her$26m in new contributions were general election donations that she would not beallowed to use in her primary campaign. In addition to the donations, Clintontransferred $10m from her Senate campaign account.

Edwardsaides said his $14m in new contributions included $1m for the general election.

Neither theEdwards nor the Clinton camps wantedto discuss how much cash they had left, making it more difficult to assess howthe two campaigns stack up against each other.

JennyBackus, a Democratic consultant not backing any specific candidate, said:"Things look very good for the Hillary campaign and the Edwards campaign [but]the devil could be in the details."

BarackObama, a Democratic senator and 2008 presidential hopeful, has not yet divulgedhis first-quarter fundraising total, nor have any of the Republican candidates.

Thatdecision illustrates that fundraising is not only about numbers, but also aboutmanaging positive - or at least trying to put off negative - media coverage.

Earlycampaigning

Earlyfundraising can also be the easiest, as candidates tap the contributors theyknow best.

Clinton's total, helped by her Senatecampaign transfer and inflated by the unknown amount for the general election,exceeds the $31m that all presidential candidates reported raising in the firstthree months of 2003.

Still,Backus said Clinton's numbers were"awe but not shock", and may not serve to scare away contenders in afield that already has been winnowed by fear of a need for big money.

Forcandidates seeking to break out of second-tier status, the first quarter couldprove to be a stepping stone or a pitfall.

BillRichardson, New Mexico's governor, showed he had enough of a support base toraise $6m and keep $5m in the bank while spending most of his time in Santa Fe during New Mexico'slegislative session.

Aides say Richardsonintends to devote himself more fully to fundraising in the second quarter. Thequestion for him, then, is whether he can emerge from the also-running list andbuild himself into a contender in some of the states with early nominatingcontests.

Aides toChris Dodd, a Democratic senator, said he raised more than $4m, transferrednearly $5m from his Senate campaign and had $7.5m in the bank.

Joe Biden,a Democratic senator, lagged behind, with his staff reporting that he had totalreceipts of nearly $4m, including a transfer from his Senate campaign account.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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