Candidates tally fundraising totals

Published: Monday, October 1, 2007 at 1:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 1, 2007 at 1:46 p.m.

WASHINGTON - Presidential campaigns aggressively competed for dollars up to the last minute of the third quarter, eager to build their bank accounts for an expensive stretch of media advertising and voter outreach.

Candidates were to begin revealing their fundraising totals Monday, leaving the details for later when they must file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. The first votes of the presidential contest are scheduled to be cast in January.

A key number at this stage is how much cash the campaigns have on hand. They may raise a lot or they may raise a little, but what they have in the bank to spend in the months ahead matters most.

Other key features to look for among Republicans:

- How much money did former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a multimillionaire, lend his campaign in this past quarter? He gave his campaign nearly $9 million in the first six months of the year and has said he dipped into his own pocket again this quarter.

- After a dismal second quarter, has Sen. John McCain stabilized his fundraising?

- Did former Sen. Fred Thompson, a television and movie actor, parlay the popular support he enjoyed before becoming a candidate into real dollars? His numbers will be slightly inflated because they will also include money raised in June while he was still exploring whether to run. The rest of the campaigns will report July-September figures.

- Can former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani maintain the pace he set in the second quarter as the Republican best able to raise money from individual donors?

Key points for Democrats:

- Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton will once again lead the pack in fundraising. Obama's campaign reported Sunday that it had surpassed 350,000 donors, an impressive feat at this stage of a campaign.

- Will former Sen. John Edwards remain on track to meet his goal of raising $40 million by the end of the year? On Monday, the campaign announced it had met its goal of raising $1 million online in the past 10 days, part of a last-minute push to boost his fundraising for the quarter. Last week he announced he would accept public financing of his campaign during the primaries, a move that would give him an infusion of several million dollars but would also limit his spending to about $50 million during the entire primary season.

- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced Sunday that he had raised $5.2 million in the quarter. Will that move him closer to Edwards and establish him as a fourth-place contender?

- Will Sens. Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd raise enough to keep them in the hunt? Dodd closely trailed Richardson in the first six months, thanks in part to his transfer of $4.7 million from his Senate campaign account. But Richardson has had better luck in public opinion polls. A poll in Iowa by Newsweek showed him behind Clinton, Obama and Edwards, but he was the only other candidate in double digits, with 10 percent support.

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