Early returns from Q3 presidential candidate fundraising are starting to come out, and the first batch of numbers, for six Democrats, show a dead heat between Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL), but with the wind behind Clinton’s sails. Her campaign picked up 27M in Q3 to arrive at about 80M in total contributions, while Obama reached the same 80M figure with 20M in Q3 receipts. According to the Associated Press, John Edwards (D-NC) picked up 7M Q3 to 30M total, Bill Richardson (D-NM) added 5.2M to 18.4M, Chris Dodd (D-CT) picked up 4M to 8.8M, and Joe Biden (D-DE) picked up about 2M to 6.4M.
In at least one case, primary strategy is falling into place. That would be Edwards, who is falling behind Clinton and Obama, but who is convinced he can capture his party’s nomination if he can make a strong showing in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The Washington Post estimates that Democratic candidates have amassed 225M between them during the first nine months of 2007. Meanwhile, Republican candidates are still trying to cross the 150M threshold.
RBR observation: We would expect a very large percentage of this cash to be unleashed by 2/5/08, Super Duper Tuesday. Strong contenders will have to be ready for the possibility that the nomination is undecided, but they will also probably be forced to rely on a good enough showing to replenish their coffers afterwards if they need to do further battle going ahead. And Edwards has delineated the strategy of those farther back in the polls, who will have to place all their chips down early and hope for a big pay-off. Not all of this money will go for broadcast advertising, but a lot of it will.