Hillary Clinton's momentum still on

April 25, 2008 10:15:45 AM PDT
Fresh from her win in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is taking a page from Barack Obama's campaign play book.

She's increasingly turning to the Internet for financial support, and it appears to be paying off.

Hillary Clinton found out Tuesday night, the power of the Internet.

Following her victory in Pennsylvania, she asked for money and the next morning found 80,000 new donors and millions of new dollars.

"People are flocking to hillaryclinton.com to show their support," said presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) New York.

Barack Obama leads Clinton in the money race which is $234 million to her $189 million.

But one of Clinton's finance co-chairs in the Bay Area says there's been a mayor shift in the source of Clinton's funds.

"Absolutely we're getting a lot of small donors who are giving money over the Internet, it's fabulous," said Clinton finance co-chair Lorraine Hariton.

Internet contributions are the reason Obama has outpaced Clinton.

John Roos is Obama's Northern California Finance Chairman and a veteran of political campaigns going back to the mid-80s.

"I think it's fair to say we were ahead of the curve on that," said Roos.

Roos says Internet contributions means candidates doesn't have to attend as many fund raising events, and big donors don't have anywhere near the clout.

"Really now if you look at our campaign, only a small percent of our money is really coming from those larger contributions," said Roos.

The Center for Responsive Politics tracks contributions, and they found candidates give money too.

Barack Obama gave Senator Claire McCaskill $10,000 for her campaign in 2005. Now she's a superdelegate supporting Obama.

Hillary Clinton gave California Congresswoman Doris Matsui of Sacramento $5,000 for her re-election. Matsui's superdelegate vote is going to Clinton.

In total, Obama gave $710,000 over the past three years. Of those who got money from him, 85 percent are supporting him.

Clinton gave $236,000 and 75 percent of those superdelegates are supporting her.

Some, like Senator Robert Byrd who got money from both Clinton and Obama, are as yet undecided.

"No I really disagree with the underlying premise there," said Roos.

Roos says it's much more likely that Clinton and Obama sent contributions to politicians who support their views and goals.

Finally on the influence of money -- Barack Obama outspent Clinton by three to one in Pennsylvania.

Clinton's finance co-chair campaigned in Pennsylvania and says money was important but not everything.

"What's interesting about Pennsylvania it was treated almost like Iowa, we had six weeks to really do retail politics," said Hariton.

But they won't have that in Indiana and North Carolina; those are the next big contests. Clinton and Obama will have less than two weeks.

Given that time frame, money and the advertising it buys will likely be a bigger factor.


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