The numbers coming from Sen. Barack Obama's (D., Ill.) campaign continue to boggle the mind. His campaign announced that it raised $40 million in March and added more than 220,000 new donors in the last month. Those numbers soared past the competition.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) had a decent month raising $20 million. She has tapped many of her top-line donors for the maximum $2,300, but her campaign has seen increased success in obtaining online donations.
Sen. John McCain's (R., Ariz.) campaign chose not to release a number. It did tell
that his numbers were better than the $11 million he raised in February, and he will have to report by April 20. He has placed much of his March focus on fund raising, including teaming with former foe Mitt Romney.
Obama's fund-raising numbers astound. In the first three months of this year alone, he has raised approximately $131 million, which exceeds the amount of money he raised in all of 2007. His total amount raised stands close to $230 million. He continues to build a community of followers willing to take the change out of their pocket in hopes that he can change the country.
Obama's campaign has whispered about a plan to "change" the electorate by registering and getting out new voters in all 50 states across the country. It sounds far fetched, but if he can continue to raise these sums, then it just may be possible.
Of course, while he's claiming to be focused on the future Obama continues spending a lot today to defeat Clinton. Reports have him outspending her by a 4-to-1 margin in Pennsylvania, which holds the next primary on April 22, and he has managed to dent her lead in the polls.
It bears mentioning that he outspent her by about 2-to-1 in the big March contests in Ohio and Texas, yet he lost those contests. Perhaps he thinks doubling down will flip the race.
There's no doubt that this campaign will shatter records for political fund-raising. The Center for Responsive Politics had predicted a candidate will need $500 million to be competitive in the general election, and it appears that the race will generate more than $1 billion in contributions and may come closer to $2 billion when soft money donations are included.