Democrats Surpass Shame Republicans in Fund-Raising

From the almighty New York Times:

The Democratic presidential candidates continued to raise significantly more money during the last three months than their Republican counterparts, according to official and unofficial third-quarter fund-raising tallies that were released yesterday.

Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, raised at least $20 million over the summer, more than $19 million of which could be spent on the primary — showing that he continued to be a formidable fund-raiser. It was unclear whether he still led in fund-raising, as he did this spring, because Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton did not release her tally. (Her aides had said that they expected to raise a similar amount.) John Edwards raised $7 million, and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico raised $5.2 million.

By comparison, Mitt Romney, who has been one of the strongest Republican fund-raisers this election, raised only about half of what Mr. Obama raised this summer, according to a senior adviser who was granted anonymity to discuss the campaign’s finances. The adviser said that Mr. Romney brought in about $10 million from donors, and that he used more than $6 million of his own money for his campaign.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, who replaced his chief fund-raiser at the end of the quarter, did not release a tally, but said over the weekend that he thought he would “do as well as the other Republicans — maybe we will do better than some.” Fred D. Thompson raised at least $8 million in his first quarter as a candidate, according to people involved with the campaign — less than the other leading candidates raised early in their campaigns.

And Senator John McCain of Arizona raised more than $5 million, according to a Republican familiar with the campaign’s finances.

Not just surpass, Democrats are indeed shaming Republicans in fundraising. The big question, why is that?

Strategists in both parties said that the fund-raising imbalance showed that Democrats, and their donors, are more energized this year as they battle to reclaim the White House after nearly eight years of Republican rule. And they said President Bush’s sagging popularity is hurting the Republicans who are vying to replace him.

“This just shows the difficult political climate that Republicans are facing,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist. “The bright side is that next spring, the Republicans will have plenty of money to give the candidate who goes up against Hillary Clinton.”

I would generally concur with that analysis. Democrats are seething to regain control of the White House after 8 years of Republican control.

This may be the most interesting tidbit:

The $8 million that Mr. Thompson reportedly raised — campaign officials said they were still counting checks — suggested that there was no huge pool of donors who were unmoved by the rest of the Republican field and were eagerly awaiting his entrance into the race. But his supporters said that many of his donors — there were more than 70,000 of them — did not give the maximum allowed, meaning that they could be tapped for more donations.

For the month of September, which I believe is what his donations consist of, $8 million isn’t bad. However, it certainly wasn’t a blowout.

My theory is that Republicans have not decided which candidate they will unite behind at this point. Evangelicals like James Dobson are shunning all the major candidates and floating the idea of a third-party candidate which would severely hurt the Republican nominee.

I am still quite certain Hillary will be the Democratic nominee. The Republican field, however, is completely wide open at this point until the first caucus votes are cast.