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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

March Money

After the breakneck sprint of January and February, the pace of the Democratic presidential campaign slowed down in March. There were only 6 contests, and they had wrapped up before the end of the second week.
After each broke personal and historic records in February, the fundraising for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton reflected the slower turn.
Neither campaign had a bad month — Obama brought in $40 million, which was his third-best total to date; Clinton brought in $20 million, which was her second-best total to date. But the lack of calendar-driven benchmarks clearly had an impact on campaign donations.
For Obama, the story is largely about consistency. More than 442,000 gave money to the campaign, and close to half — 218,000 — were first time contributors. His average donation was $96, and to date, Obama has been supported by more than 1,276,000 total donors.
The picture for Clinton is a little more complicated. In February, the campaign announced that she had pulled in $34.5 million in contributions — easily her best month ever. When the campaign filed its finance report with the FEC three weeks later, however, we learned that only $11.7 million of that total was designated for the nomination contest. Two-thirds of Clinton’s February cash would only be available for the general election if she became the nominee. She also finished the month with close to $9 million in outstanding debts. Howard Wolfson has assured Josh Marshall that ‘almost all‘ of the March money is for the nominating contest, but Clinton’s FEC reports should be worth looking into later.

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