July 16, 2007

Political race, money race

Democrats outraised Republicans about $80 million to $50 million from April through June. But Republicans kept pace with Democrats on spending, nearly $50 million spent on both sides. The Democrats' money advantage was helped in large part by the extraordinary fundraising of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. He raised $32 million for the primary; she raised $21.5 million. But even as they raised more money, the better financed Democrats were chary about spending it all. Obama, the freshman senator from Illinois, spent half of what he raised in the second quarter. Clinton spent 60 cents for every primary dollar raised. John Edwards raised $9 million and spent $6.4 million.

That was not the Republican model. John McCain raised $11.3 million and spent $13 million. Mitt Romney had to lend his campaign $6 million to stay even with his spending for the quarter. The pattern was similar among GOP candidates with lesser finances. Only Rudy Giuliani, the Republican with the most cash on hand, kept his spending below his fundraising. Obama and Clinton ended the quarter with $34 million and $33 million in the bank, respectively. The Republicans' penchant for spending beyond their fundraising was especially apparent with McCain, the senator from Arizona. The McCain camp ended up spending more in the second quarter and raising less, even though their first quarter fundraising had left them with less cash on hand than Romney or Giuliani,

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