Hillary Clinton Raises $45 Million In First Fundraising Quarter
With the end of the FEC reporting quarter coming at midnight last night, we’re starting to get the first fundraising reports from campaigns. Not surprisingly, the first report came from Hillary Clinton’s camp and it showed her bringing in a record amount over the past three months:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign expects to have raised more than $45 million since starting her campaign in April, according to a campaign spokeswoman speaking ahead of the Federal Election Commission filings, a figure that would mark a record start to presidential fund-raising in history.
The $45 million figure, far more than she reported raising during the first few months of her last White House bid, is very likely to be more than any of her Democratic or Republican rivals raise for their campaigns. But it also reflects her dominance of the Democratic field: Unlike in 2007, there are no other Democratic candidates with substantial reach into the elite tier of Democratic donors and bundlers, and thus little competition.
And her campaign would not disclose what proportion of her donations came in the form of small donations, a critical measure of her grassroots appeal and ability to compete financially over the long haul.
Mrs. Clinton has been on a breakneck fund-raising schedule across the country to raise money and lay out her agenda at dozens of fund-raisers, many held in the penthouses or sprawling suburban homes of her leading donors. The campaign’s “Hillstarters” program has been tapping a growing network of bundlers to raise $27,000 from friends, each of whom were asked to give the maximum donation for the primary campaign of $2,700.
Mrs. Clinton’s supporters argued that the quarterly number demonstrated the effectiveness of the campaign’s early fund-raising strategy, focused on bringing in new donors and bundlers and making senior campaign staff accessible to those raising money for Mrs. Clinton.
“I think the message is clearly there that every contributor is a voter,” said Ira Leesfield, a Florida trial lawyer who hosted a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton late last month. “They’re really emphasizing reaching out to a broad base. They see that the small contributors, and people who are not giving to PACs, are being treated very well.”\
At the moment, all the money the campaign is raising is going toward the primary campaign rather than some of it being designated for General Election purposes. In that respect, this one quarter likely represents more than Clinton’s Democratic opponents will raise combined throughout the entire nomination fight. That doesn’t decide the election, of course, but it is an indication of just how strong her support is among Democrats and just how unlikely it is that a candidate like Bernie Sanders is going to be able to compete with Clinton over the long haul between now and when the voting starts in February.