2Q fundraising

It looks like the figures are in, and there are two big stories: Obama definitively beats Clinton and the Republican candidates took a big hit.

After the first quarter, Clinton captured the headline for the overall lead, but the small print told a different story. Everyone discounted her transfer of $10 million from her Senate campaign, but even without this, early commentators, including this blog, reported that she narrowly beat Obama in total receipts. It turned out that this was counting money donated for the general election - which she can't legally spend in the primaries. In the race for primary cash, Obama was leading with Clinton and Romney just behind.

This time, Obama wins again, and by a big margin. Clinton's receipts are slightly up and Obama leaps to over $30 million and a lead of $5 million. Counting only primay cash he leads by $10 million and has more than Clinton and Edwards combined.

On the Republican side Mitt Romney falls well back. Giuliani's receipts are slightly up, but this reflects a full quarter for him, whereas there was real doubt that he would enter the race until the latter part of the first quarter.

John McCain pulled out all the stops for the second quarter, neglecting the Senate and all ordinary campaigning to focus on fundraising. Instead of improving his position he fell back, though not by as much as Romney. This time his third place looks respectable rather than disastrous, but only because of a much weaker Republican field. His campaign is already shedding staff.

In the battle at the lower end of the Democrat field John Edwards fell back and Bill Richardson advanced. Richardson could credibly overtake Edwards if the present trends continue. Add that to the possibility of a win in the Nevada caucuses, and he is looking a good outside bet. Chris Dodd, who claimed a creditable $9 million in the first quarter collapsed by more than 50%.

And what of Fred Thompson? No-one knows. Did the Republican field fall back because of uncertainty about his entry into the race? Are the big donors waiting for Fred? Or is the political climate hitting Republicans across the board? The much stronger performance of the Democrats House and Senate Committees implies the latter.

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