Friday, June 22, 2007

"Edwards predicting big second-quarter drop-off"

The Hill:
Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is expecting a significant drop-off in campaign contributions for the second quarter that might look like a pittance compared to the dollar amounts Democratic rivals Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) are expected to raise.
Though it would not be unheard of for a campaign to try and lowball its fundraising expectations, an e-mail to supporters from senior adviser Joe Trippi, of Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign, tells Edwards’s fans the campaign is two-thirds of the way to its goal of $9 million for the quarter.

That would give Edwards a $6 million rake with nine days to go. And even then, the campaign would realize $5 million less than it did in the first quarter.

An Edwards campaign official said the goal for the campaign from the outset has been to raise $40 million total to compete in the first four primary or caucus states.

“We were never going to raise $25 million in the second quarter,” the aide said, alluding to the giant sums expected of Clinton and Obama. “They’re pretty much more based on their celebrity. We are based on the early four states strategy, and we need $40 million to do that.”

The dollar decrescendo is nothing new to Edwards. In 2003, Edwards was the talk of Washington after raising $7.4 million in the first quarter, which was a lot of money back then. But in the second quarter, he reported raising $4.5 million.

“This is not about out-raising our opponents in a meaningless fundraising arms race,” Trippi said in the e-mail to supporters. “This is about executing our plan — raising enough money to push our message in the critical early states and building our operation around the country.”

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) told reporters after he first entered the race to wait and watch his second-quarter numbers instead of his first.

A senior adviser to his campaign said that risky strategy came through, and they expect to report more this time around than the $6.2 million they reported after March. And all of that money will be primary election donations.

An aide to Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) said the senator’s campaign was expecting to raise around the same amount as the $2.1 million he raised in the first quarter, which he combined with just under $2 million from his Senate reelection funds.

Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) campaign declined to comment on its expectations. Dodd raised about $4 million in the first quarter, which he complemented with $4.7 million from his Senate reelection chest.

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