IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Candidates release January fundraising details

Obama had millions going into February; Clinton struggled to stay even.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Counting her debts, including $5 million she lent her campaign, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ended January with about $1.5 million while Democratic presidential rival Sen. Barack Obama sat comfortably atop a sum more than 10 times bigger.

Obama's campaign said Wednesday he was approaching 1 million unique donors, a fundraising base that already is expanding the $138 million he raised during his one-year quest for the presidency.

Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns spent at a rate of $1 million a day — $28.5 million for the month by Clinton and $30.5 million for Obama. But Federal Election Commission reports filed Wednesday show how desperate Clinton's financial situation looked going into the all-important Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests.

Her infusion of cash on Jan. 28 helped her buy advertising in key Super Tuesday battlegrounds and jump-started an online fundraising effort that generated $15 million during the first two weeks of February, according to campaign aides. Obama appeared to be at least maintaining his January fundraising pace.

Obama's whopping income makes him the top fundraiser ever in a contested primary.

He raised $36 million for the month, $4 million more than his campaign had initially stated. Of that, about $900,000 could be used only in a general election. Clinton raised nearly $14 million in January, including about $1 million for the general.

The rest of the competitition
Overall, the two remain financially head and shoulders above the rest of the Republican and Democratic presidential fields. Obama has raised an extraordinary $138 million in his yearlong quest. Clinton has raised $121 million. But Obama holds an even bigger edge because $131 million of his money could be used for the primary, whereas Clinton could only use about $100 million.

Among Republicans, Sen. John McCain's revitalized campaign spent $10.5 million just ahead of Mitt Romney, who spent $10. 4 million.

Romney, who dropped out after Super Tuesday, lent himself $7 million in January, bringing his total personal investment in his failed campaign to more than $42 million, according to his FEC report.

According to the reports, Romney and Clinton approached their loans slightly differently. Clinton's loan carries a modest 1.26 percent interest rate; Romney's loan has no interest rate.

Romney, a former venture capitalist and Massachusetts governor, ended the month with $8.8 million in the bank, more than $3 million of which must be returned because it was for the general election only.

Romney stayed in the race until after the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests. He withdrew and later endorsed McCain, who is now assured the nomination.

Overall, Romney spent $98 million since the beginning of his campaign a year ago, including more than $10 million in January alone.

Money to be returned
Rudy Giuliani spent nearly $7 million in January on his failed Florida-based presidential strategy, but ended the month and his campaign with nearly $9 million in the bank, most of it for the general election.

Giuliani must return the $6 million he collected for the general campaign. Anything left over after he pays debts and other obligations could be given to charity or the Republican Party, or used to seed a political action committee. He would be prohibited form turning the money to his own use.

The former New York mayor, who once sat atop national polls as the favorite Republican presidential candidate, raised only $3 million in January, a sign that his campaign was losing steam even as he tried to assure donors and voters that Florida would propel him to a string of victories.

Republican Mike Huckabee, who remains in the race despite McCain's status as the nominee-in-waiting, reported raising about $4 million in January and spending nearly $5 million. Huckabee stunned the Republican field by winning the Iowa caucuses. He then lost a series of other January contests before winning in several Southern states on Super Tuesday.

Huckabee, who has run his campaign on a meager budget, had nearly $1 million cash on hand at the end of January and a debt of $54,000.

McCain, who filed his FEC report late Monday, raised nearly $12 million in January, helped by victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina that solidified his place as the leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

McCain reported $5.2 million cash on hand at the start of February and $5.5 million in debts, including a loan of nearly $4 million.