March 21st, 2008
11:45 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain faces daunting cash gap

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton and Obama are far outpacing McCain in the money race."](CNN) - John McCain raised around $11 million last month, according to federal filings released this week – about one-third the sum raised by Hillary Clinton, a fifth of Barack Obama’s February haul, and slightly less than he’d raised in January as a primary candidate.

The overall gap between the three senators also increased: McCain has now raised just over $60 million, compared with Clinton’s $156 million and Obama’s $194 million.

The news for McCain was not all grim: last month, the Arizona senator was able to bein paying back the nearly $4 million loan he took out when the financial situation for his then-struggling campaign looked dire.

McCain spent just $8.7 million in February, as he he effectively captured the Republican nomination. By contrast, Obama and Clinton spent $42.8 million in February and $31.8 million respectively.

The two remaining Democratic contenders ended the month with a healthy amount of cash in hand: $33 million for Clinton and $39 million for Obama. The numbers are not quite as close as they appear: Obama has less than a million dollars in debt, while Clinton owes nearly $9 million in addition to the $5 million loan she made to her own campaign in January. McCain had $8 million cash on hand.

February’s totals seem to make it more likely that McCain may need to accept public financing for the general election – putting him at a disadvantage to both of his potential rivals, who have avoided committing to abiding under the restrictions required by the federal financing system, including strict fundraising and spending caps.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. nick

    A broke RE publican. I heard it all. Well I quess it is fitting because his boss has put the country in the tank.

    March 21, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Rich

    The report fails to point out that McCain will not need to spend as much over the next few months as the Democrat rivals. If anything, I would think he was ahead becuase of the little amount of money the other two camps have to finance their attacks against each other.

    March 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |

    No big deal, let the two freedom haters go at it some more and beat each other up, when all the confusion is over in Aug. then McCain can still be working on getting funds and one of these two other libs will be gone but will be so beat up, nobody will care what they have to say or do anymore.

    March 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    What do you expect from a candidate of the great depression era?

    March 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |