Hillary Seizes the Fundraising Momentum

Clinton is the only Democratic presidential candidate to raise more money in Colorado in the third quarter than in the second.“Momentum?” former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver once said, “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.”

To the extent that political momentum is reflected in fundraising, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seems to have seized it in Colorado.

This depends, naturally, on how one chooses to define momentum. So for the current purposes we’ll say it’s the ability to raise money in the third quarter of 2007 close to the pace the candidate sustained in the second quarter.

Considered this way, Clinton has Mo’ on her side in Colorado. Based on the Federal Election Commission reports (and, yes, yes, we know that they don’t include contributions smaller than $200, so don’t write in), Clinton has raised a total of $539,378 in the state in 2007. She raised $345,270 of that total – or 64 percent – in the third quarter.

In the first blush of excitement about the presidential campaign – that is to say, in the May-to-July FEC reporting quarter – most of the Democratic candidates brought in their biggest Colorado contributions. Then the giving dropped off in the late summer doldrums.

This was not the case for Clinton. She actually raised more money in the third quarter than she did in the second. Every other Democratic candidate raised less.

Barack Obama has raised more in total than Clinton in Colorado, $1.2 million versus Hillary’s $539,000. But Obama’s fundraising in the state fell off substantially in the recent quarter. In the FEC filings, the Obama campaign reported $188,794 raised in Colorado for the third quarter. This is about 16 percent of his total.

The Obama campaign is the only one that has released its fundraising totals including contributors who gave small contributions. When these generous souls are included, Obama’s third-quarter Colorado totals jump to $302,097. But this is still only 25 percent of his overall amount.

If we accept our definition of momentum, Dennis Kucinich (who?), John Edwards and Bill Richardson – 61 percent, 35 percent and 25 percent respectively — all did as well or better than Obama in third quarter Colorado fundraising, even counting the Obama small contributors against only the others’ large ones.

The table below gives the third quarter and overall totals raised in Colorado, as reported to the FEC, and the percentage of the total that was raised in the third quarter in the last column:

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