WASHINGTON – Barack Obama raised more than $19 million this summer for the presidential primaries, holding his lead for now in the race for campaign cash though still trailing Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in national polls.
Fred Thompson, the GOP newcomer, has collected more than $11.5 million since June when he began exploring a run, Republicans familiar with his fundraising said Monday.
Obama’s Democratic rival John Edwards reported raising $7 million during the July-September quarter for a total of $30 million for the year. Aides said he would show $12 million cash on hand and was on track to meet his goal of raising $40 million by the time the first presidential contests begin in January.
Clinton, whose fundraising has nearly kept pace with Obama’s, had not released her third-quarter figures Monday. The quarter ended Sunday night. Clinton and the top Republican presidential contenders were not expected to disclose their totals until later this week, perhaps as early as today.
Thompson’s total includes $3.5 million he raised before the third-quarter fundraising period began. Since formally entering the race during the first week of September, Thompson has raised roughly $200,000 a day, Republicans who were briefed on his numbers said.
Obama also received general election contributions during the quarter, making his overall fundraising for the period more than $20 million. That brings his total for the year to nearly $80 million – nearly $75 million for the primaries and about $4 million for the general election.
A key comparison between Clinton and Obama will be how much each has in the bank at the end of the quarter. Obama did not release his cash-on-hand figure on Monday. He spent heavily in the last quarter, especially in Iowa where he has been trying to break out of a three-way cluster with Clinton and Edwards in public opinion polls.
The third quarter is traditionally a difficult fundraising period, and the candidates raised less in the past three months than they had in each of the first and second quarters. Obama, for instance, raised a high of $33 million in the second quarter, and Edwards’ best was $14 million in the first.
Last week, Edwards 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 also would limit his spending to about $50 million during the entire primary season.