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McCain, Giuliani Post Early Presidential Fundraising Totals February 1, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.

WASHINGTON (AP)–The race for presidential cash in its infancy, Sen. John McCain on Wednesday collected $1.7 million in his campaign’s first few weeks while Republican rival Rudy Giuliani’s early take totaled $1.4 million.

Financial documents detailing 2006 year-end totals showed McCain, an Arizona senator, had only $472,000 on hand while Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, had about $1 million available.

Both spent money setting up campaign headquarters, buying equipment and hiring workers.

With the Republican nomination fight just getting under way, the significance of the totals is little more than negligible because the reports detail a period before any candidate began presidential fundraising efforts in earnest.

Most candidates are spending the first months of 2007 focusing on raising money so they can post big numbers in April, the Federal Election Commission’s first reporting deadline and, in turn, the first major test of who is a viable candidate.

Still, in a sign of what’s to come, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who rounds out the GOP’s top tier of candidates, secured $6.5 million – some of it in pledges – on one day in January by holding a glitzy fundraiser just days after he created his presidential exploratory committee. He wasn’t required to report finances from 2006 because, unlike McCain and Giuliani, he wasn’t a federal candidate then.

Only the handful of presidential hopefuls who created committees last year and those who served in the House or Senate in 2006 were required to report their fundraising totals to the FEC.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had about $14 million available after her Senate re-election campaign that she can transfer to a presidential account. That gives her an advantage over another strong contender Sen. Barack Obama, who has only about $500,000 on hand to transfer if he wants.

The other Democrat considered a serious contender, 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards, was not required to report.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., reported nearly $5 million on hand in his Senate account at year’s end after raising $3.2 million in the final three months of 2006.

Both McCain and Giuliani created their presidential exploratory committees around the same time in November. Still, the figures from 2006 aren’t necessarily a direct comparison.

McCain, for instance, added $1 million to his presidential campaign coffers from his Senate re-election account. He all but drained it – only $20,000 was left at years’ end.

Giuliani, who still has a fund from an aborted Senate run in 2000, transferred only $100,000 to his presidential effort. More than $2 million remained in his Senate account on Dec. 31.

Also, Giuliani held a major fundraising event last year in December in New York in addition to collecting donations online. McCain raised money through his Web site, but held no fundraising events.


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