Obama has a Big Advantage in the Money Race

Mar 22 2008 Published by under Featured News

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to raise staggering sums of money, while John McCain continues to wait for the funds to start rolling in. Obama raised $55,369,162 in the month of February. Hillary Clinton also had a great month. She raised $34,466,631. For poor John McCain, the money just isn’t coming in very quickly. McCain was able to raise $10,937,453, but he spent $8,139,279 in the same time period. This means that he only added roughly $2.8 million to his coffers. In contrast, Clinton added around $3.9 million and Obama in the ballpark of $13.8 million.

Obama has over $38.8 million in cash on hand. Clinton has $33.1 million, but also $8.7 million in debts compared to Obama’s $625,058. John McCain has $7.9 million in cash, but also $4.3 million in debts. This means that he really only has $3.6 million to work with. Obama has raised over three times the amount that McCain has ($193.6 million to $64.6 million), and Clinton has nearly tripled McCain as well by raising $135 million.

Obama has raised all of his money through individual contributions. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t take any special interest money, but that he rejected all official donations from Political Action Committees (PAC). Of course, the way around this is to take personal contributions from individual lobbyists those people affiliated with PACS, but Obama’s claim that he has taken zero PAC dollars is technically correct.

Ninety percent of Hillary Clinton’s cash has come from individual donors too. She has only taken $1.1 million in PAC money, and has given herself a $ 5 million loan. Of Clinton’s PAC money 56% came from business, and only 13% from labor. I do suspect that Clinton is using the same semantical distinction that Obama is, so these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Ninety one percent of McCain’s money is also listed as individual contributions. McCain has taken $687,794 in PAC money, with 71% from business.

The conclusions which can be drawn from this data are that special interest money is still alive and well in our political system, but it is gathered more discreetly now. Overwhelmingly, money from all types of people is flowing to the Democrats. Obama has built an impressive fundraising network, which has done what many people thought was impossible. He is out fundraising the Clintons. The lack of enthusiasm for both this election and John McCain among Republicans is also evident. If McCain doesn’t start raising some big bucks soon, he risks being woefully underfunded for the fall, and underfunded candidates tend to get blown out of elections.

All the numbers came from:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/index.asp?cycle=2008

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