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Clinton eyes Obama threat

The N.Y. Democrat's campaign says it raised $27million this quarter but her Illinois rival will probably top that.

June 29, 2007|Scott Martelle | Times Staff Writer

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign announced Wednesday that it had raised about $27 million over the last three months, but sought to soften the impact of what it said would probably be a better showing by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

In an e-mail to supporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said the New York senator's $27 million set a record for a Democrat for the time period, but he added: "We do expect Sen. Obama to significantly out-raise us this quarter."

Obama's campaign has yet to announce its fundraising total for the three months.

"Bottom line is that both campaigns will raise a great deal of money and that we will have all the resources we need to compete and win," Wolfson said. "We feel very good about where the campaign stands and our ability to win the primary and go toe-to-toe with any of the Republicans in the field."

The second quarter ends Saturday, and campaigns routinely jockey in the final days of a reporting period to influence how their reports will be perceived. For instance, if Obama now reports less money raised than Clinton's $27 million, that could affect perceptions of his momentum in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Obama trails Clinton in the national polls, but he matched her in fundraising in the first three months of the year, when each raised about $26 million.

Obama raised his money from more than twice the number of donors as Clinton's 50,000 contributors. He announced early Wednesday that he had set a goal of 250,000 contributors by June 30 -- or 150,000 for the second quarter, to add to his 100,000 in the first quarter. On Thursday, the campaign's website said that goal had been met.

That far outpaces the 70,000 who responded during the same time frame to Howard Dean's revolutionary Internet-based donor drive in the 2004 race.

Other finance numbers are expected to be announced in the next several days, although the campaigns have until July 15 to file their federal reports.

Other Democratic campaigns to watch: those of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

In e-mails to supporters, the Edwards campaign said its goal was $9 million for the period. Its website said Thursday afternoon that $8.3 million had been raised.

If Richardson, who formally entered the race in May, beats or comes close to Edwards, he could elbow the trial lawyer aside as the perceived third-place contender. Edwards raised $14 million in the first quarter, compared with $6.2 million for Richardson, who at the time was still exploring whether to run.

Among Republicans, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led the first quarter with $21 million raised, followed by former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani with $14.7 million, and then, in a surprisingly lackluster showing, Sen. John McCain with $12.5 million. Giuliani is leading in national polls, but Romney fares better in some of the crucial early primary and caucus states.

A poor second-quarter showing for McCain, combined with his low standing in the polls, could mean trouble. McCain is out of favor with conservatives because of, among other issues, his role as cosponsor of immigration legislation with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), which died Thursday in the Senate; and with moderates over his support for continuing military efforts in Iraq.

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scott.martelle@latimes.com

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