Thursday, 5 April 2007

'08 candidates score high in early fund-raising

Around US$130 million was raised by United States '08 presidential candidates in the first three months of this year — a new, mind-blowing record. In addition, many candidates have their Senate or House campaign finance accounts. Democrat Hillary Clinton still has $10m to transfer from her Senate account, Dodd $5m, and Biden $4m (the latter two are going to need it). Clinton already scored $26m in fund-raising. Her closest rival, Democrat Barak Obama, was only $1m away from matching her (i.e. he got $25m). The Democrats scored a campaign finance victory, but the battle is far from over. Democratic candidates got a total of $78m in this quarter, compared to the Republican $51m.

Republican Mitt Romney’s surprisingly high $23m included $2.35m of his own money. Brownback already transferred over half a million from his Senate account to his meek presidential war chest. It looks like the social ultra-conservative from Kansas will not end up well. John McCain did horribly. There were some high hopes for Huckabee a few months ago, but he failed to build a foundation for his campaign. Out of all the aforementioned candidates, he is least likely to make it.

In American politics, it all comes down to money — and, to an extent, personality. Even to make it past the beginning stages of the primaries candidates need massive amounts of money. A lot of it is a waste. Just think of all the better uses for hundreds of millions of dollars. Also do not forget the massive and oft-ambiguous corporate donors and campaign lobbyists. If a company were to donate a generous amount to a campaign, chances are they get some sort of incentive if that candidate makes it into office. Obama did pretty well, especially considering he doesn’t have a popular former president as a spouse like in Hillary Clinton's case.

Mitt Romney is a former governor of Massachusetts, a Mormon, and has stances both socially liberal and socially conservative. He is defiantly an interesting candidate to watch.

  • New York Times candidate listing and profiles
  • BBC News candidate listing and profiles
  • Washington Post candidate listing and profiles

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