Campaigns in No Rush to Tip Hands
One sign that this year's presidential contenders may have had a tough time raising money this summer was that no one wanted to report their totals on the last day of the quarter, as they have typically done.
Instead, many of the contenders spent Sunday blasting out pleading emails to their supporters as they tried to soak up every last possible dollar.
"Ten hours left," said one appeal from John Edwards's senior adviser Joe Trippi. "This is i--?there's no 'later' this time. We're so close to hitting our goal, and your contribution--no matter how big or small--could be the one that puts us over the top. Please give what you can." According to the email, Edwards was close to raising $1 million on line for the quarter, about a quarter of what he has brought in over the internet overall, according to the numbers on the ActBlue web site, which collects web contributions on behalf of his campaign and others.
On the Democratic side, only New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson produced an actual number, saying he had raised about $5.2 million over the past three months. His aides said that amount that should keep him within reach of Edwards, and legitimizes him as one of the top-tier contenders. Trippi said last week he expects Edwards's third quarter total to be about $7 million.
No clear sense yet what the party's frontrunners, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, will report, though aides in each campaign have said they expect the totals to land between $17 million and $20 million -- impressive amounts by most measures, but considerably less than each raised in the first two quarters of the year. Both had raised about $60 million during the first half of the year.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent out an email to supporters last night reporting the campaign has taken in more than 500,000 donations from more than 350,000 people. That would suggest the pace of Obama?s fundraising, while still vigorous, slowed over the summer.
But even as Plouffe boasted of that "big news," he included a post script to his email: "P.S. -- There's still time for you to be part of this historic moment. The deadline for donations is midnight tonight, so please make yours now."
Republican candidates were equally coy about their third quarter totals.
While most campaigns have kept a tight lock on their ledgers, aides to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney let slip that they expect he will have finished September having raised more than $40 million overall. He's also expected to put another infusion of his own money into his account -- part of a trend The Post wrote about Sunday that has turned Romney into a rare hybrid. His is one of the first-ever campaigns to be fueled by both private contributions and a sizeable chunk of the candidate's own cash.
Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is expected to report having raised in excess of $8 million dollars for the quarter on top of the $3.5 million he raised in June, according to a Fox News report last night.
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