The money primary

Barack Obama has released his first quarter fundraising totals, and the data are even more impressive than they appeared Monday, when I was the first to note (so far as I am aware) that Obama's total included only funds for the primary election, while Hillary's slightly bigger total included donations for both races. Inpractice, that meant that big donotrs could give twice as much ($4600) to Hillary as to Obama, if they cared to max out.

Obama had 83,000 donors,Hillary 50,000. It was very smart to wait a day or two for Hillary's numbers to get out there, and then show his hand,  as the real winner of the money raising derby. This will have less impact in the short term on head to head polls, but more on how Democratic Party officials and elected officials in key states choose between the two.

It seems likely that Hillary, with a 20 year Rolodex of prior donors to her husband's campaign and hers, has already bagged a lot of the low lying fruit for contributions. Obama is a new phenomenon on the scene, and his prospects for future fund raising would seem brighter at the moment than  Hillary's.

Hillary spent $37 million on a non-competitive Senate re-election run. Much of that went to set up her fund raising and grassroots machinery for the Presidential election. My guess is her burn rate is far higher than Obama's at the moment, having had aides positioned in key states for many months.

On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani's burn rate so far appears to be far lower than Mitt Romney's or John McCain's. To have achieved a solid lead in the polls with a late starting fundraising effort (2/3 of Rudy's first quarter haul of $15 million was raised in March), and with few aides in the field, is a good sign for his campaign.