July 6th, 2007
09:24 AM ET
12 years ago

Schneider: Presidential fundraising hits record pace

Obama raised nearly $33 million last quarter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time in many years, Democratic candidates for president are raising more money than Republican candidates, according to the second quarter fundraising figures just released by the top candidates.

You think the voters are uninterested and uninvolved this early in the campaign? Think again.

"This is a record breaking amount of money, and this is a record breaking cycle," said Sheila Krumholz from the Center for Responsive Politics. "This will be like no other presidential election before."

Look at the amount of money being raised. In the second quarter of the year before each of the past three presidential elections, the total amounts raised were $34.1 million (1995), $55.3 million (1999) and $65.9 million (2003).

This year, we have second quarter totals for the top three candidates in each party. Those six candidates alone raised $110.7 million.

Why are people giving candidates so much money? Krumholz attributed it to "the lack of public funds being used this time, the increased competitiveness, not having an incumbent in the race. This is just an unusual race on many accounts."

It’s unusual for another reason, too: Democratic candidates are outpacing Republicans. In the second quarter of the year before the 1996 election, Republicans outraised the Democrat, Bill Clinton, $24.5 million to $9.6 million. Okay, but Clinton was running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

In the second quarter of 1999, Republicans way outraised Democrats $50.2 million to $16.1 million, even though both party nominations were contested. Okay, you could argue that eight Republicans were running and only two Democrats.

In the second quarter of 2003, Republicans again raised more money ($35.1 million to $30.8 million). That year, nine Democrats were running and George W. Bush was unopposed.

In the second quarter of this year, totals for the top three candidates in each party show that, for the first time in recent years, Democrats are outraising Republicans - by more than $26 million ($68.5 million to $42.2 million).

"I'm delighted by the vast amounts of money that the Democrats are raising compared to the Republicans," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

The fundraising totals show Democrats are more engaged and motivated. Ever since their midterm victory last November, many Democrats have been ready to vote for president.

The fundraising totals also show Democrats are more enthusiastic about their candidates - particularly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom outraised the top Republican fundraiser Rudy Giuliani. "You get stories of people who come to these Obama events and say, `I haven't much been interested in politics - here, I'll give you the money out of my handbag,’" said John Dickerson, chief political correspondent for Slate. "That gives a sense of momentum, a sense of movement."

In the end, both parties are likely to have all the money they need to run strong national campaigns. It's not the difference in dollars that matters most. It's the difference in motivation and involvement that the dollars reveal.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Political Techie

    He is one of the most organized democrats running for President. I realy hope he could deliver his promises. Read more about Obama at http://www.2008uspresident.com and vote to improve his ratings.

    July 5, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. JWH

    Democrats are winning the money race because George Bush and the Neo Cons ruined the Republican party for many years to come. I love it.

    July 5, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Interesting question. I'd like to know what the lobbies are spending for starters. Big oil is bankrolling the Democrats along with other deep pocket industries.

    Although this is typical of corporate America...give a lot of money to both parties to give the illusion of being fair.

    The Democrats get a lot more money from labor, teachers unions, etc...though I bet most of their money stems from the same lobbies that influence Bush policy.

    July 6, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  4. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    Though money is important to a candidates ability to run a campaign, I think it is more important the amount of donors giving to that campaign. In this Obama wins hands down and I think is an early indicator that he may be the eventual candidate for the Democratic Party. Hillary could still win all the big names, the big donors, but I think with the advent of a internet (free and unencumbered) the 'great unwashed' have now taken the helm.

    And to everyone who laments Obama's lack of experience, so what? Most of those who point this out are on the right, and look at the abomination you elected to office. Experience can be everything, it can mean absolutely nothing. One of, if not the greatest presidents of this nation was George Washington who had absolutely no experience leading a civilian government. In the end it is what you believe and your ability to enact what you believe, and Obama has that ability because he has the Charisma and he understands the important issues in this country that need to be addressed.

    July 6, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  5. J R, Michigan

    I honestly believe that there isn't a single candidate for the 2008 US presidency that will be suited for the job. Hillary is too divisive, but it looks like she's gonna win it. Too bad, too; we really need fresh blood in Washington, both in the White House and in Congress. I say we fire every "old-school" incumbent, with VERY few exceptions. We the American people must send a message to the powers-that-be that we will NOT stand for such behavior! I'm sick and tired of dirty politicians behaving like morally retarded schoolyard kids. Let's take back our contry!

    July 6, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Mik, Boston, Mass

    Like the Irish before them the blacks of America know that their best oportunity is to put one of their own in power. That he has raised more money than anyone else suprises you?

    July 6, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Leslie Galloway Greensboro,NC

    Congrats. to Barak Obama and the Democratic party. I'm rooting for ya Barak and I hope we (democrats) come out on top this election!!!

    July 6, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Charles, Silver Spring, MD

    JR, look into the only candidate that is a viable option for America's future, Ron Paul. He's a strict constitutionalist and follows the document to the letter when it comes to votes in the House and his voting record backs it up. Its rare to see such integrity these days in politics, hence why he's got my vote and my money.

    July 6, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. jerry johnson decatur, il

    obama said 90 % of his 258000 donations came from people who gave 10-25$. given they gave 25$ each, that equals 5 million plus. that leaves the other 10% supplying the remaining 27 million, hmm, who do you think will get obama's attention, surely not the 90% group.

    July 6, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Mark, Shreveport, LA

    Remember, it's not what you stand for, but how much money you can raise, how charismatic you are, and how much free press you can get based on your money raising skills and charisma!

    Money means ads. Raising lots of money means you get free press, just like this article. Free press like this means more people jump on your bandwagon and give you more money!

    Issues aren't important; money is king!

    July 6, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. South Carolina Independant voter

    Its rather simple, really. The republicans STOLE the last two elections from the true winners, and got away with it not once, but twice. This time, the American people aren't going to take a chance that a republican might win. Thus, they are giving to the Democrats, in droves. The American people are ready for a Change, and there is NO WAY that a republican will make it to the WhiteHouse in '08. I suspect it won't even be close. The Democrats will take 65% of the popular vote, or MORE !! We Independants are going to vote Democrat this time – just you watch........

    July 6, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Carl, Dallas, TX

    no one stole elections... you were so angry about it what did you do personally to make a difference and make sure the conspiracy came out... oh wait you posted on a blog... classy. Guess what? Forget all these candidates and their fund raising. There should be a tax that gives every candidate running a set amount of money for campaigning only... we would be paying to hear them travel and talk about their issues, instead of having corporations control them... i'm sick of it i'll never vote

    July 6, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Carl, Dallas, TX

    President Washington was a great president because he believe in the cause. He didn't control the Continental Armies and oust King George III so he could be the new King George I. I don't know enough about Obama, but the fact that he has limited political experience is a plus for me because it means he hasn't been swimming in the political BS for a while. He's cleaner than the other candidates.

    July 6, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Paul Sabino, Benoni, South Africa

    democrats think again that they will win the election, but again there is no Ross Perot, which put Clinton in the White House...

    July 7, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |