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September 30, 2007
3rd Quarter Fundraising slows for Dems
Tapped out contributors and a traditional downturn in donations during the summer months will apparently contribute to a lot less money being raised by Democratic frontrunners for President Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York reportedly has raised between $17 million and $19 million in the third quarter. The expected amounts raised by the two candidates will dwarf amounts raised by Republican candidates for the same period. For example, Mitt Romney has already indicated he is going to have to start relying more on his own deep pockets rather than individual donations:
Her chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, is expected to report that he has raised between $15 million and $20 million during the same period. Mr. Obama received $33 million in the second quarter, at least a third of it in individual donations of less than $200.
In contrast, Mrs. Clinton raised $21.5 million for her primary campaign during this same period, with $2,300 in maximum contributions accounting for more than half of her total.
Campaign-finance advisers like Mr. Baran said it is going to become increasingly difficult for Mrs. Clinton to raise large sums of money because most already have given the maximum amount. Fundraising consultants said that more than 70 percent of her donors fell into that category. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, had more than 300,000 donors, many of whom contributed multiple times.
Top Romney advisers said last week that they expected his campaign to raise almost $40 million in the first nine of months this year. And though they have not released a firm figure, they expected that Romney will have supplemented those contributions with nearly $15 million of his own money. Figures for third quarter fundraising for all candidates will be available tomorrow.
Romney's candidacy has quietly morphed into one of the nation's first hybrid campaigns for a major-party presidential nomination: one that is neither a traditional bid built on individual donations nor a self-funded effort such as those launched by billionaires Steve Forbes and Ross Perot.
"Romney is something different," said Jennifer A. Steen, a Boston College professor who has written a book on self-financed candidates.
That Romney is spending some of his personal fortune, estimated to be between $190 million and $250 million, in part reflects a decline in donations to his campaign.