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Follow the money
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 02, 2007

As I've been saying for a while, given its early start and the number of candidates (not to mention the growing amount of money it takes to run for the presidency), this may be the first billion dollar presidential race. And leading the pack, according to fund raising reports, Sen. Hillary Clinton raised $26 million for her campaign. That, as the article notes, is 3 times what any politician has raised at this point in a campaign. The Barack Obama campaign didn't disclose its fund raising results but most experts say it was fairly well behind Clinton's (around $20 million). As for the others:
Democrat John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, also topped the previous record, reporting at least $14 million for the quarter that ended Saturday.


Advisers to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said they expect to report $6 million; Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) reported raising $4 million; and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) predicted reporting about $3 million.
And here's something to note. Her ability to raise money is indeed helped tremendously when Bill Clinton is added to the mix:
Some $10 million appears to have been raised in the final 1 1/2 weeks of the quarter, when Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, held huge galas around the country. Her advisers said she raised $600,000 in the final 36 hours.
And the internet?
She also raised $4.2 million on the Internet during the quarter. Eighty percent of her donations came in amounts of $100 or less.
Now folks, whether you like her or not, those are impressive numbers and should be sounding warning bells all over the GOP side of things. This is a powerful and apparently well organized effort that is just beginning to gain momentum.

Meanwhile, those who are running for the Democratic nomination in opposition to her officially whistle past the political graveyard:
Asked whether Edwards is daunted by Clinton's ability to beat his first-quarter total by more than $10 million, Jonathan Prince, his deputy campaign manager, said, "Not at all."

"History has clearly indicated that the most money is not the key to the nomination," Prince said.

Other Democratic candidates made the same case.
Yeah, but it sure doesn't hurt, does it?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Whoa, the *two* giant Rudy ads in the middle of the page kind of fudge up the layout.

Anyway, yeah, money is king in this race. I’m a moderate Dem who still thinks that Clinton would make a great president but would have a hard time winning in the general election; it sure will be interesting watching all this play out.
Written By: Mithras
Whoa, the *two* giant Rudy ads in the middle of the page kind of fudge up the layout.
There’s ads here?
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Whoa, the *two* giant Rudy ads in the middle of the page kind of fudge up the layout.
Come on Mithras, you know they’re Google ads and you also know we have no control over them (which is not to say that if Rudy wants to advertise here, we wouldn’t take his money). ;)
Written By: McQ
Might there be a difference between the effects money has on the primaries, and the nominations, and the effect it has on the general election?

Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
The thing that caught my eye was that there was apparently $7 million floating around out there for which no higher value use could be found than the doomed Presidential bids of Mssrs. Dodd and Biden.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I know what you mean, Aldo. Almost makes me want to start up a dotcom and see if those donors will fund me.
Written By: steverino
Now folks, whether you like her or not, those are impressive numbers and should be sounding warning bells all over the GOP side of things. This is a powerful and apparently well organized effort that is just beginning to gain momentum.
Hillery’s problem is that everyone knows her and already knows if they would vote for her or not. Essentially 50% of Americans would vote "anyone but Hillery". Consequently, her $$$ has less "vote buying power" than, say, Obama’s $$$, on a per doller basis.

I think Hillery needs a real weak Republican opponenet in order to win (which isn’t too hard to imagine), perhaps with a strong third party candidate soaking up conservative votes. Kinda like the "alignment of the planets" that allowed her husband to win in ’92 and ’96 with a minority of the vote. Although Bill might have pulled off a win under other circumstances, I don’t think she can.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The candidate with the most money is not guaranteed victory. According to a 1996 CATO Institute study:
Spending more money did not guarantee victory for House or Senate candidates in 1996. In 6 of the 15 competitive Senate races (where the victory margin was 8 percent or less), candidates who spent less won. In the House, 26 candidates defeated rivals who spent more than they did. Money Politics And The First Amendment by Major Garrett
That study is a decade old, but I see nothing that changes it’s findings.
Written By: James E. Fish
Does anybody else find it a little odd that it costs $1 billion dollars to get a job that pays $200,000 a year?

Maybe, just maybe the importance of this one job has gotten a little out of whack. Why are people willing to fund this monstrosity? Because the value of having the government use its power for your benefit (or to hurt your competitors) is worth a whole lot more than $1 billion. The people spending this money are simply taking advantage of the best investment opportunity available in this country. Which is a sad commentary on what has happened to "the land of opportunity".

There is something really, really wrong with that.

Nobody had to spend $1 billion to become president when the only contact most people had with the federal government was occaisionally recieving a letter from the post office. But that was a long time ago.

Maybe the republic as the founding fathers created it, without an army of millions of regulators, bureaucrats and soldiers, was a better arrangement after all.
Written By: DS
URL: http://

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