Friday, March 21, 2008

To Have Money In The Bank, Or Not

It may be almost April, but campaign watchers are still going over fundraising particulars from February in the Democratic primary contests. It has been known for a while that Obama out-raised Clinton in a $55-34 million fashion, but what about the cash they were able to hold on to?

From Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton lived hand to mouth during the rush of presidential primaries while Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama outspent her and put money in the bank.

New Federal Election Commission reports show Obama raised at a clip of nearly $2 million a day in February, an open spigot of money that left him with $30 million in the bank for March.

Clinton had her best fundraising month as well, at $34.5 million. But counting her debts to vendors she ended with a net $3 million. And that's not factoring the $5 million she lent her campaign and has not paid back.

Ouch, "hand to mouth" sounds harsh but in reality it is exactly the situation that Senator Clinton is in. People donate money to campaigns that have a good shot of winning. Donors want their candidate to go the distance and if they do not see it happening, then the likelihood that their money goes from individual wallets to campaign coffers is much, much less. Despite wins in Rhode Island and Ohio on the big March primary day, her chances of logistically catching up with Senator Obama became virtually nil. When going up against McCain in the fall, Democrats do not want to equate "nil" with their contender. That is just common sense and part of the reason why she has a tenth of the money on hand that he has.