Gov. Sarah Palin has become a cash-raising machine for the McCain campaign, which seems to have spilled over into the Obama campaign. The day Palin was announced, McCain immediately raised over $4 million in 24 hours. However, the other result of Palin’s announcement has been Obama’s war chest growing ever larger as well.
First, a report from the New York Daily News on Palin’s success for Mccain:
WASHINGTON – Sarah Palin stole the spotlight from Barack Obama. She is a game-changer in the campaign’s money race, too.
Since John McCain picked Palin as his No. 2, donations to the Republican National Committee have exploded – bringing in more than $4 million just on the day she was named to the ticket.
The national party’s massive war chest is a huge boost for McCain, who accepted – and will be restricted to – $84 million in public financing.
The party essentially operates as a shadow campaign that can spend money on the candidate’s behalf.
“There’s no limit on how much the Republican National Committee can take,” said Republican operative Rich Galen, adding that fund-raising has also jumped in congressional races since Palin joined the ticket. “It’s all workin.'”
A senior GOP strategist told the Daily News he thought his party would ultimately be able to spend about $350 million on the contest. He estimated the Democrats could spend $400 million.
“Fifty million is not enough to win an election with money [alone],” he said.
Obama opted out of the public funds, believing he would raise considerably more than – and possibly even triple – the $84 million payout he would get from taxpayers.
Similarly, Obama also had a record month, that story from Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON – Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced Sunday that it raised $66 million in August, marking another record fundraising month for the Democrat. The August total tops the $55 million Obama raised last February.
He reached the $66 million mark with help from more than a half million new donors.
Obama’s total for August was almost $20 million more than the $47 million Republican rival John McCain raised last month.
Obama’s campaign said that with the latest figures he had more than $77 million cash on hand.
More details about the campaigns’ finance are expected later this week, when their monthly financial reports are due at the Federal Election Commission.
Obama, a prodigious fundraiser, has decided not to accept public financing for the general election, choosing instead to spend as much money as he can raise on his historic bid to put a Democrat back in the White House.
Republican candidate John McCain has accepted public financing, which limits his direct spending to the $84 million he received after the GOP convention earlier this month.
Obama’s fundraisers have estimated that he still has to do better in September and October, than the August haul of $66 million, to remain on par with McCain and the Republican National Committee. The RNC has more money to spend on McCain’s behalf than the Democratic Party has to aid Obama.
Many attribute part of Obama’s high numbers to a massive outpouring from the Democratic base in response to McCain’s choice of Palin as VP. As Palin as energized the conservative base to donate in support of her to McCain, she has similarly energized the liberal base of the Democratic Party to donate against her to Obama.
This also underscores Obama’s reversal on his statement that he would limit himself to public financing if his Republican opponent did as well. McCain accepted public funds while Obama changed his mind on the issue and decided to keep raising money privately.
I have to assume that any VP choice by McCain, which would probably have been fairly conservative no matter who it was, would have also ignited Obama supporters to some extent. However, Palin holds very strong conservative views on guns and abortion which I believe probably convinced liberal donors to add an extra zero onto the check.