OBAMA’S HUGE EDGE

On the surface, it would seem that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are about evenly matched in fundraising — itself a big plus for the Illinois senator, who is neither married to a former president nor a fundraiser with  30 years of experience. Hillary shows $22.5 million, net of payables, available for the primary, and Obama has about $20 million. In this quarter, Obama raised only about $100,000 less than Hillary.

But the fact is that Obama has cleaned Hillary’s clock in the money competition. Swelling Clinton’s financial reports is the $10 million she transferred from her Senate committee to her presidential race. Without this $10 million, Obama would have twice as much as Hillary has in cash on hand for the primary!

This disparity is significant since it suggests that in the second quarter Obama may really take a dominating position; Hillary will have no more to transfer from her Senate campaign to make up any shortfall.

How Hillary must have worked to maximize her fundraising totals! She moved over the $10 million. He didn’t transfer anything. She raised  about $7 million in general election money — a purely symbolic figure since she can’t touch it until after the party conventions — to swell her reported fundraising figure. Obama raised only $178,000 in general election funding. She amassed $1.5 million in payables to show a higher cash on hand. Obama had only $190,000 in debt. She reflects no payments to consultants (including her big three: Mark Penn, Mandy Grunwald, and Howard Wolfson) and nothing for candidate travel. Obama, who travels just as much but didn’t need to fudge to show how much money he had on hand, reported almost $700,000 for this category.

When you read the fine print, it is evident that Obama’s fundraising success for the quarter is really much greater than Hillary’s. Next quarter, when she runs out of gimmicks, it will likely be even more evident.

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