Clinton Passes Obama In Q3 Fundraising
In another example of artfully lowballing expectations and then significantly exceeding them, Hillary went last in issuing her 3rd quarter fundraising totals and then blew well past Obama’s result. It was just last week that her campaign was estimating that it would raise somewhere between $17 million and $20 million in Q3, a target that Obama’s campaign took into account when it announced it’s own impressive Q3 result of $19 million for the primary campaign and only $1 million for the general election.
Hillary saved the best for last this morning when her campaign announced they blew past Obama in Q3 with a total of $27 million raised, $22 million for the primary and $5 million for the general election. Exceeding the outstanding success Obama’s campaign achieved in Q3 when they announced yesterday that they picked up 93,000 new donors in the quarter, Clinton picked up 100,000 new donors according to the campaign. Although Clinton still trails Obama’s total of 352,000 total donors, her campaign is doing what it needs to do in soliciting small donors who can give again and again, instead of relying too much on larger donors who may already be maxed out to Clinton. This will become even more critical as the campaign enters its heavy media period requiring available sources of cash. What isn’t known yet from these initial numbers are the cash-on-hand (COH) totals for the top two campaigns.
John Edwards raised only $7 million in Q3, barely outpacing Bill Richardson’s $5.7 million for the quarter. But Edwards still has $12 million COH for his all-or-nothing push in Iowa while his campaign tries unsuccessfully to spin its need for public financing as a meaningless challenge to Hillary to do the same. Joe Biden raised $2 million in Q3, while Chris Dodd raised $1.5 million, with $4 million COH.
Both Obama and Clinton are raising money and picking up donors at a level that dwarfs any GOP candidate, at a time when the GOP is facing murmurs from its evangelical base of a split next year and the still-remote possibility of a third party candidacy or the far more likely prospect of a demoralized base. Add to this the reality that the business community is wandering away from the GOP over deficits, the Iraq war, and a disinterest to the plight of American manufacturing, and you can see how either Clinton or Obama can make a strong play in the weeks ahead for parts of the GOP base. In fact, I would recommend that Clinton take a page from the recent UAW-GM deal, and consider making an appearance before a national business group like the US Chamber of Commerce to announce that the Democrats are willing partners in any effort to help American business bring jobs back home and make home-grown businesses more competitive in the world.
With the GOP stumbling right now, the time is right for Clinton to start laying out a broad agenda of change and progress for everyone that cuts into the GOP’s traditional base from Main Street to Wall Street. And she can start with a message that would appeal to the base and independents at the same time: attack Bush and the GOP for opposing the expansion of SCHIP at the same time they want no-strings funding for another $200 billion in Iraq, and paint them both as extremists at odds with nearly three-quarters of the American public.