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Ready for Hillary PAC's haul nears $6 million

WASHINGTON A super PAC urging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president says it raised $1.7 million in the first three months of the year, almost all of it from small-dollar donors.

Ready for Hillary on Thursday said more than 22,000 new donors gave money to the self-designated Clinton support network between Jan. 1 and March 31. The average contribution was $53, and 98 percent of it was $100 or less.

Ready for Hillary has been collecting names of those who would support Clinton if she runs in 2016. The super PAC has been focused on building buzz by lining up donors, as others have done.

Since its launch, Ready for Hillary has raised $5.75 million.

The group is independent of a campaign Clinton would launch if she decides to run. Recently, the organizers revamped their web site to include a new video featuring the former secretary of state, and making it easier for supporters to use Facebook to find and reach out to people in the name of building support and hosting events for the candidate.

The efforts are modeled after President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaign apparatus, which was groundbreaking in its use of technology to build a grassroots community of supporters. Several advisers to Ready for Hillary worked for the Obama campaign.

Separately, the Republican National Committee says it raised $10.2 million in March and has more than $12 million in the bank heading toward November's elections.

The RNC on Wednesday announced the fundraising totals, which indicate it raised $25.2 million during the first three months of the year and is just shy of $106 million raised since 2012's elections. The committee says it has no debt.

The Democratic National Committee is expected to release its fundraising totals in the coming days. The DNC ended February with $15.2 million in red ink.

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