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Starting Gate: The Third Quarter Bottom Line

2264960The final third quarter tallies are in and here's the bottom line: In nine months, sixteen presidential candidates combined to raise a grand total of well over $419 million – with a couple hundred thousand thrown in here and there. More telling: Seven Democrats raised over $244 million of that total while nine Republicans totaled over $175 million.

For Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have raised almost as much as the entire GOP field -- $170 million-plus and each nearly has more money in the bank for the primaries than all Republicans combined. Add John Edwards in there and the three eclipse Republicans by $25 million. Four of the GOP candidates – Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson – raised over $155 million of GOP's $175 million total.

These are heady days for all the number-crunchers out there and there are plenty of caveats to throw into the equation. Mitt Romney has loaned his campaign over $8 million, Clinton transferred $10 million from her senate campaign and many of the candidates have raised money for both the primary and general elections.

A little spreadsheet searching will reveal tantalizing nuggets – how much Romney spent on the Iowa straw poll, how much did Oprah manage to add to Obama's coffers and, just maybe, who has given Ron Paul over $8 million this year. We'll have more on that as the week goes on, but the bigger picture pretty much confirms the bottom line of what we've known about this campaign all year.

Crunch Time Cash There's a little less than three months for candidates to add to their totals but some the campaigns spent at a faster rater than they raised last quarter, according to an analysis by our partners. Roughly, here's a look how much they had to spend for the primaries as of September 30th.

Democrats: Clinton -- $35 million; Obama – $32 million; Edwards -- $10 million; Bill Richardson -- $5 million; Chris Dodd -- $2 million; Joe Biden -- $800,000 and Dennis Kucinich – $327,000. Editor's Note: The original posting incorrectly listed Biden's cash-on-hand at $200,000)

Republicans: Giuliani -- $12 million; Romney -- $9 million; Thompson -- $7 million; Ron Paul -- $5 million; McCain -- $2 million; Mike Huckabee -- $651,000; Duncan Hunter -- $133,000; Tom Tancredo -- $110,000 and Sam Brownback -- $95,000.

Find The "Real" Republican: With Romney, Giuliani and McCain all vying to claim the mantle of the authentic GOP candidate in the race, Thompson must have felt like he was missing out. No longer. In a speech scheduled for today, Thompson will take indirect aim at his primary opponents, according to excerpts obtained by the AP – particularly Giuliani.

In the speech, to be given to the Conservative Party of New York, Thompson will reportedly say: "Some think the way to beat the Democrats in November is to be more like them. I could not disagree more. … I believe that conservatives beat liberals only when we challenge their outdated positions, not embrace them. This is not a time for philosophical flexibility, it is a time to stand up for what we believe in."

Around The Track

  • Romney will launch a new ad in New Hampshire today on taxes. From the ad: "It's not fair that you have to pay taxes when you earn your money, when you save your money and then when you die. … That's why I'll kill the death tax once and for all and roll back tax rates across the board. And savings? When I'm president, for middle-class Americans, the new tax rate on your interest, dividends, and capital gains will be absolutely zero."
  • Clinton stopped by "The View" yesterday as part of her focus on the women's vote this week and made her soft sell: "I still think, you know, there's probably a tougher standard for women, especially running for president. We've all been through it in one way or another where you go, you try to break a barrier, do the best you can and people are saying, 'Well, I don't like her clothes or I don't like her hair or whatever.' But I think we're getting beyond that."
  • According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama has outspent Clinton in organizing Iowa and now has 31 field offices throughout the state. As evidence of its organizational muscle in this caucus state, the campaign says it mobilized some 3,000 supporters to attend Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry last month.
  • Sam Brownback is trying some different approaches to help his ailing campaign. He has teamed up with Joe Biden to endorse the Democrats plan on Iraq and now he will introduce a resolution in the Senate to apologize for slavery, according to the Boston Globe. "We're trying some different plays," Brownback tells the paper.
  • From the obvious file: A new poll shows that some of those most concerned with climate change are those who spend time in the great outdoors – hunters and fishermen.
  • John McCain has made a point of breaking out of his early-campaign cautiousness and getting back to his straight-talking roots. Yesterday, he took yet another bold stand, telling ESPN's Dan Patrick that Barry Bonds' all-time home-run record should be accompanied by an asterisk: "I hope, as an avid sports nut, that an asterisk should be after Mr. Bonds' name. I don't say that I would legislate it, but I would advocate it."