WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raised $26 million and transferred an additional $10 million from her Senate war chest to post $36 million in the first quarter of the 2008 fundraising cycle, the New York Democrat's presidential campaign announced Sunday.
"We are completely overwhelmed and gratified by the historic support," Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle told reporters in a conference call Sunday afternoon.
Senior campaign aides noted that Clinton, a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, had raised the $26 million in a 10-week period but still publicly claimed their goal for the year remains at $75 million. Political analysts suggest the fundraising figure for Clinton and a handful of other presidential contenders is more likely to be in the $100 million range for the year.
The Clinton aides did not release how much money the New York senator currently has in the bank or how much of the $26 million raised can be used in the Democratic primary and how much of it is earmarked for the general election campaign, should Sen. Clinton win the party's nomination. Those figures will be released on or about April 15. The campaign did say that of the $26 million raised, $4.2 million was contributed through the Internet.
The first quarter of the 2008 fundraising cycle is considered by many to be a reliable benchmark to assess a candidate's viability. The quarter closed on Saturday at midnight.
It is likely that Clinton will lead the Democratic field in fundraising this quarter, as her fine-tuned political machine, honed during her husband's years in the White House, kicked into high gear. Former President Bill Clinton played a high-profile role in the senator's presidential campaign in the first 10 weeks by headlining fundraisers and reaching out to key party activists.
Although Clinton is raising funds for both the primary and the general, which no previous presidential candidate has ever done, her total first quarter haul for the primary is still likely to far outpace what the frontrunners in either party raised at the comparable points in 1999 and 2003. In 1999, then-Gov. George W. Bush lead the GOP field by raising $7.6 million in the first quarter, while then-Vice President Al Gore lead the Democratic field with $8.9 million. In 2003, Sen. John Edwards raised about $7.4 million in contributions in the first quarter, enough to lead the Democratic field. President Bush did not begin raising money for his re-election bid until later in the year.
By early afternoon, the only other Democrat to release a first quarter fundraising estimate was Sen. Joe Biden. An aide to the Delaware Democrat tells CNN that they expect the campaign to post between $3 million and $4 million in the first three months with about $1.9 million of that being transferred from his Senate campaign account. The aide noted that they think Biden, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, can be competitive if they are able to raise $25 million for the primary. Biden is registering in the single digits in the national polls.
In the Republican presidential primary, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told CNN he expected to raise $500,000 in the first quarter and show $300,000 in the bank.