Senator Hillary Clinton has revealed that her campaign had raised 36 million dollars, which is the highest amount of money in the first quarter for any presidential candidate ever.
Campaign officials said late Sunday Clinton had by far the most cash on hand to spend in both primary and general elections of any candidate in the 2008 presidential field.
“These numbers indicate the tremendous support for Senator Clinton from every walk of life and every part of America, and assure that we will have the resources needed to compete and win,” Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle said in a statement.
In a report to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Clinton campaign said its total receipts in the first quarter had reached 36 million dollars.
Of that total, 26 million had been raised in the 10 weeks between the campaignÃ‚?s launch in late January and March 31.
An additional 10 million was transferred from the senatorÃ‚?s reelection campaign of 2006, according to the report.
Five million dollars had already been spent, bringing her total available cash to 31 million.
The senator had 24 million dollars she could legally spend on the primary election campaign and 6.9 million for the general election campaign.
The campaign of Senator Barack Obama, the top Clinton rival, underscored its success in raising 25.8 million dollars just for the primary campaign.
So far, Obama has spent 6.6 million dollars, about as much as Clinton, his aides said, leaving him with 19.2 million in his war chest.
His team also boasted 104,000 contributors, compared with Clinton’s 60,000.
Obama’s campaign finance manager, Penny Pritzker, called the showing a “true testament to the desire for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America.”
Former senator John Edwards, who is running third in the polls, had 10.7 million dollars in the bank, after spending 3.3 million, according to his campaign officials.
The disclosure reports appeared to cement the juggernaut status of Obama and Clinton, who are leading in the Democratic field.
Sunday’s statements are seen as important barometers of the health of a campaign, in that they show not only how much money candidates have raised, but how much they have left to spend.
On the Republican side, the filings were also expected to confirm early reports that presidential hopeful John McCain is lagging far behind his Republican rivals in reaping in donations.
McCain has been trailing in opinion polls, even as his expensive campaign operation burns through cash and has some 1.8 million dollars in unpaid bills.
Once viewed as a Republican frontrunner, the Arizona senator had 5.2 million dollars available by the end of March according to early estimates, less than half the amount of his main Republican rivals.
His support is said to have fallen in part because of his staunch support for President George W. Bush’s unpopular military strategy in Iraq — even in the face of growing public unease with the US military presence there.
Rival Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani — former mayor of New York City — reported a campaign war chest of 10.8 million.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts, had 11.9 million, according to the early campaign disclosure reports, which showed he garnered some 20.7 million dollars in contributions.
McCain raised some 13 million dollars during the period — nearly as much as Giuliani — but dipped deeper into his campaign’s coffers, spending some 8.4 million dollars.
Copyright Â© 2007 Agence France Presse