Dec 312007

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton will have raised more than $100 million this year for her presidential campaign, aides confirmed Monday evening, setting a historic new threshold in fundraising.

Rival Barack Obama’s campaign indicated it had reached that record-setting mark as well. In a Power Point presentation to supporters, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, said the campaign would need “at least $100 million” to compete in the first 26 primary and caucus states. “Obama will have the financial resources,” Plouffe said.

Clinton aides said her figure did not include $10 million she transferred to the campaign from her Senate campaign account at the beginning of the year. That means the senator from New York will have raised more than $20 million during the past three months.

Neither the Clinton nor the Obama campaigns revealed how much of the money raised was designated for the primary phase of the campaign and how much was for the general election – an important distinction that would signal how much they have available to compete for the Democratic nomination.

In the first three quarters, Obama raised more primary money than Clinton.

Clinton had $90.9 million in receipts at the end of September, including the $10 million transfer. By that time, she had raised a total of $80.4 million.

Monday at midnight was the last day of the fundraising quarter. Campaigns won’t have to make details of their fundraising and spending public until Jan. 31, when they file finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.

By only confirming its end-of-year total, Clinton’s campaign was drawing attention to the biggest number it plans to report. But state-by-state presidential contests are approaching quickly, culminating on Feb. 5 when more than 20 states hold primary contests. That means cash-on-hand will be an important total that signals how financially prepared candidates are to compete beyond Thursday’s Iowa caucuses, and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8.

Clinton and Obama have been locked in a fundraising race, with both already breaking fundraising records. Obama, of Illinois, had total receipts of more than $80 million at the end of September, and had raised more money for the primary contests than Clinton had.

In his presentation to supporters, Plouffe said Obama had 472,630 unique donors as of Sunday evening.

At the end of September, Clinton and Obama each reported more than $30 million in cash available for the primaries.

John Edwards, who has trailed Obama and Clinton fundraising but is in a three-way competition for the Iowa caucuses, was expected to report between $4 million and $5 million raised in the quarter. Edwards has qualified for $8.8 million in public matching funds, bringing his total for the year to about $44 million.

On the Republican side, dark horse Ron Paul was reporting having raised $19.5 million during the final three months of the year, a sharp increase from the $5.2 million he raised during the previous.

That would bring Paul’s total raised this year to more than $27 million. Paul’s fourth-quarter haul would surpass the third quarter fundraising by each of his Republican rivals.

Paul has caught fire on the Internet, attracting a national following among donors drawn to his opposition to U.S. troops in Iraq and his libertarian views.

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