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The $$ Campaign

- February 2, 2008

The Campaign Finance Institute will issue a new report on campaign spending by the presidential candidates very soon, but yesterday it circulated a press release yesterday that covers some of the high points. These data were current as of December 31. Obviously, much has happened since then, but in the words of the press release, there are some good clues here “for those who may be wondering about what will come next.”

* About half of Hillary Clinton’s campaign money came in amounts of $2300 or more. Because those donors had given the legal maximum, Clinton couldn’t go back to them again in January.

* By contrast, Barack Obama had raised only about one-third of his funds from “maxed out” donors. “This clearly suggests that Obama had more room than Clinton to seek additional support from his donors under the law’s contribution limits.”

* Obama raised a “remarkable” 47% of his individual contributions in the fourth quarter from donors who gave unitemized contributions of $200 or less. Only 15% of Clinton’s fourth-quarter contributions came in these small amounts.

* About half of Mitt Romney’s fourth-quarter money came from individuals, half of whom were maxed out; the rest came from Romney himself.

* John McCain was “essentially broke with less than $1 million in cash in hand at the end of the year.” The next CFI report presumably will show a big boost in McCain’s donations, reflecting his emergence as the front-runner in the race for the GOP nomination.

For the full CFI press release, click here.