After Big Win in Pennsylvania, Clinton Campaign Rakes In Cash

(CBS)

From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:


WASHINGTON -- Although post-election bounces in the polls have been rare in this election, what hasn't been so rare is fundraising. The Clinton campaign claims to have raised over $3 million online since the polls closed in Pennsylvania, bringing in as much as $500,000 in the first hour after the polls closed.

Aside from campaigning in the coming days, Clinton will have to focus on raising even more money. Part of the problem is that her campaign is in debt, and the only way she can compete is if she has the funds to do so. "You have two candidates who have each raised more money than anybody has ever raised in a primary campaign, and we're gong to continue to raise money," she said yesterday, dancing around the question of her campaign's current financial status. "We'll have enough."

But staring Clinton in the face are a few problems. One, many of her donors have already maxed out their legal primary contributions, forcing Clinton to focus on larger, mass marketed, low dollar fundraising. E-mails have been pouring into supporters' inboxes asking for as little as a $5 donation. It is a move that Obama's campaign made months ago that helped him secure the campaign war chest he currently holds. In Pennsylvania, Clinton constantly told supporters that she was being "outspent three to one" there, no doubt a way of trying to get supporters to dig into their own pockets to help her campaign.

Secondly, Clinton still owes about $4.5 million to her former chief strategist, Mark Penn, who resigned amid a controversial relationship with the Colombian government earlier this month. There has been talk that Clinton may even need to lend her campaign more money, something she did in late January as she was being outspent in February 5th states.

The next few days will be critical for Clinton's fundraising, not only for her political survival, but also as superdelegates watch to see how much money she is bringing in. For some superdelegates, fundraising is often a way to measure a candidate's viability. It is no coincidence that later today Clinton is personally holding a conference call with donors.

With Pennsylvania over, Clinton will take her message to a state that is currently torn between the two candidates. Indiana polls show Clinton and Obama in a very tight race there. Clinton's campaign argues that they have a lot of ground to make up in the western part of the state, primarily due to the fact that it borders Illinois, Obama's home state. But look for Clinton to campaign heavily in the southern part of Indiana. It is an area with predominantly white, working class voters, the kind of voters that have helped keep Clinton in the race.

Originally, Clinton was scheduled not to have any campaign events today, but with the race tightening in Indiana and with some perceived momentum coming off of last night's win, the decision to organize a last minute rally in that state seemed an obvious one.
  • Fernando Suarez

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