Turns out Hillary Rodham Clinton 's victory Tuesday came with a cash prize.
In the hours after winning Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary, Clinton's campaign said she raised $3.5 million.
By midday Wednesday, the campaign estimated the total haul at $10 million raised online in the 24 hours since Pennsylvania's polls closed, and claimed it was her best fundraising day ever.
Clinton, desperate to fight on against a flush Barack Obama, could certainly use the money.
On Sunday, the campaign revealed that at the end of March it had just over $9 million in the bank and $10 million in debt. Obama had more than $40 million cash on hand at the start of April.
Clinton still trails Obama
Obama has been able to tap a formidable network of donors that now total more than 1.3 million. Clinton has a smaller donor base and only recently has begun to expand it through Internet solicitation. But a greater share of Clinton's donors have contributed the maximum $2,300 to the primary allowed by law. That means that to stay within sight of Obama, she has to find new donors — not an easy task this late in a campaign.
The money disparity has been evident. Obama spent more than $11 million in broadcast television ads in Pennsylvania to Clinton's nearly $5 million. It was the most Obama had spent in any single contest so far.
Both campaigns now hurl themselves into Indiana and North Carolina, which hold primaries May 6. Both campaigns already have been spending money in the state, buying ads, setting up field operations and traveling.
But, as he has in contest after contest, Obama is outspending Clinton on television commercials in those states by a ratio of 2-1. He has been on the air in both states since March 28, spending more than $2 million so far in Indiana and nearly $2 million in North Carolina, according to TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a political ad tracking firm.
Clinton went up with ads April 3 in North Carolina and April 8 in Indiana.
But if Clinton plans to stay in the contest through June 3, May will be an expensive proposition.
A week after May 6, Nebraska and West Virginia hold primaries. A week later, Kentucky and Oregon have contests.
Obama's campaign wealth has allowed him to already look ahead to Oregon, which holds its primary May 20. Obama has spent more than $100,000 on television ads in Oregon, where residents have until April 29 to register as new voters. To add to the pressure, Oregon voters cast their votes by mail and ballots will begin arriving in households after May 2.
Election night successes have stimulated donors before. Clinton took in $1 million online during the 24 hours following her New Hampshire primary victory in January. She also raised more than $6 million in the three days following the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday elections, when more than 20 states were in contention.
Still, every time Clinton hits a high water mark in fundraising, Obama manages to best her. She recorded a high of $35 million in February only to see Obama hit a record of $55 million. Last month, bound to be slow after such a fundraising frenzy in February, generated a respectable $20 million for Clinton. Obama raised twice as much.
While Clinton has been outspent on ads, both have spent similar amounts on travel. In March, both posted about $5 million in travel expenses. Clinton has to foot the bill for two active surrogates — her husband, the former president, and their daughter Chelsea — have maintained breakneck schedules campaigning for her.
Obama has forced Clinton to chase him with spending, forcing her hand early by eroding her leads in public opinion polls. Clinton once led in Indiana, but Obama now holds a narrow edge in some polls. Depending on how well she can parlay Tuesday's victory into cash, some Democratic Party strategists believe Clinton may have to shift her money out of North Carolina and into Indiana in hopes of staving off two losses in one day.