Clinton set to raise $45M in gifts both small _ and large

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 1:05 PM
Clinton set to raise $45M in gifts both small _ and large

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign says it is on track to report that it has raised more than $45 million since its launch in mid-April, with the vast majority of those donating giving less than $100.

While Clinton's campaign on Wednesday touted its success with such small-dollar donors, the leading Democrat in the 2016 race also pulled in a large chunk on campaign cash from donors who are giving her the maximum allowed by law.

In all, Clinton's campaign said, their haul is set to best the previous record of primary money raised in a candidate's first quarter, set by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2011 at $41.9 million.

"Thank you so much for being part of this campaign. I'm grateful for all you've done and excited for what comes next," Clinton wrote in a handwritten message, a photo of which was posted on Twitter.

Clinton's campaign released a summary of their fundraising the morning after the close of the second quarter. The figures must be formally reported to the Federal Election Commission by July 15, along with a list of each donor who gave at least $200.

The campaign did not release the total number of contributions or how many donors gave to Clinton's campaign, all details it must eventually disclose. But John Podesta, the campaign's chairman, said on Twitter that 91 percent of all donations to the campaign were $100 or less.

"Many people doubted whether we could build an organization powered by so many grassroots supporters," campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in an email to supporters. "Today's announcement proves them wrong."

Left unsaid in the campaign's flurry of celebration of its small-dollar donors was how much it has raised from donors asked to give the legal maximum of $2,700. In recent weeks, Clinton has traveled the country raising money at celebrity-studded events, exclusive gatherings in Hollywood estates and inside Manhattan penthouses.

On Wednesday, she was attending an event in a wealthy New York suburb at the home of Maria Cuomo Cole, the daughter of the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and sister of the current Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Clinton has raised at least $19.5 million at 61 such fundraisers, an amount that makes up at least 43 percent of her fundraising total. That percentage is sure to be even higher, because The Associated Press used the most conservative ticket prices to her events to calculate the total raised at each.

The Clinton campaign's focus on small-dollar donors isn't unexpected. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has aggressively courted the party's most liberal grassroots voters by running largely on a platform of reducing income inequality, and the figures released Wednesday are aimed at showing Clinton also has a strong base of eager supporters and is taking nothing for granted in the primary contest.

Aides also promoted Clinton as the most successful primary contest fundraiser in history, besting the nearly $42 million Obama raised in the first three months after beginning his re-election bid in 2011. Obama actually raised more — $46 million — but that number included some checks earmarked for the general election.

During her 2008 campaign, Clinton raised $36 million in the first quarter. At that time, she collected checks for both the primary contest and general election — meaning donors could give up to $5,400. That general election money never became available to her.

This time, her campaign has set a goal of raising $100 million in primary money by the end of the year and decided to fundraise only for the primary, meaning contributors can give no more than $2,700. If she becomes the Democratic nominee, she can return to those donors and ask for another $2,700.

Clinton will also benefit from a network of outside groups that can accept checks of any size from donors. Those organizations are expected to raise several hundred million through the primary and, if she wins the Democratic nomination, the general election.

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AP writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

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