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Richardson campaign raises $7 million

June 30, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson raised $7 million for his Democratic presidential campaign during the last three months, surpassing his first-quarter fundraising, his campaign announced Friday.

The total places Richardson firmly in fourth place in the race for money among Democrats, behind former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and pack-leading Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.

The Clinton campaign announced Thursday that she raised "in the range of" $27 million this quarter -- a record for a Democrat. The Obama campaign is expected to match or exceed that figure.

Richardson, who raised $6.2 million from January through March, had 24,270 individual contributors for the second quarter and a total of 38,000 donors for the last six months, campaign spokesman Pahl Shipley said.

Edwards was expected to fall short of the $14-million mark he set in the first quarter. The campaign's website on Friday recorded his current total at $8.6 million with a goal of $9 million for the quarter.

Thanks to some clever early advertising, Richardson has made inroads in public opinion polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, states with early contests for the nomination.

But he still trails Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

As the end of the reporting period approached Friday, Democratic and Republican candidates wrapped up a flurry of money events while their staffs sought to raise expectations for their rivals or play down the significance of the money chase.

Because fundraising is one of the few early measures of campaign strength, such jockeying for a public relations advantage has become a quarterly exercise at this stage in the campaign.

"Money is a very crude barometer of support," cautioned Paul S. Herrnson, a politics professor at the University of Maryland and expert on campaign financing. But he said, "if they don't succeed in the campaign for money, they are destined to fail in the campaign for votes."

Among Republicans, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign predicted Friday that his April to June fundraising would fall short of the $20 million that the former Massachusetts governor raised in the first quarter.

The Romney camp said in a memo that campaign events, debates and debate preparation during the last three months had taken time from fundraising. The memo said he had expanded his political and financial base.

Romney supporters predicted that former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani would lead the GOP field this quarter. Giuliani raised $14 million in the first quarter, a solid showing given a late start in the campaign. He was wrapping up the second quarter with a fundraising swing through California.

The campaign for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), saying it was "close to but short of our overall fundraising goals," appealed for donations. First-quarter fundraising was a struggle.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican who raised only $540,000 in the first quarter, said Friday that he would surpass that number in the second quarter.

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