Are the big donors deserting the Hillary campaign?

Are the big donors deserting the Hillary campaign?

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    Why has she had to lend $5M of her own money?

A developing post-Super Tuesday story this evening on US political sites has been a report that Hillary has had to dip into her own resources to keep her campaign on the the road.

It’s been confirmed that in late January, only days before Super Tuesday, that the former first lady made what was described as a “loan” of $5m. It’s being suggested that more money will have to be forthcoming in order to compete with the well funded Obama campaign.

One of the much trumpeted successes of Barack in January was his ability to raise more than $32m from a mass of small donors. In the same period the Hillary effort collected just $13m.

The hope, of course, was that the nomination would have been settled effectively by Super Tuesday and there wasn’t the need to build up much resource for this new phase of the nomination campaign. A second problem is that a lot of the money that Team Clinton has pulled in has been earmarked for the general election itself and cannot be used for the fight with Barack.

Marc Ambinder, who broke the story on his blog, makes two pertinent points: “… I envision that it would produce at least two countervailing forces. There would be a spate of stories on the End of the Clinton Machine — that her donor base is tapped out and hasn’t been able to expand like Obama’s. This force is likely to be very strong, and it is not unfair or inaccurate…..But perceptually, it could turn her into an underdog… She’d be able to show potential donors than she will sacrifice as she’s asking them to sacrifice. One can imagine a fundraising appeal along the lines of: “Help Us Match HIllary!”

In the betting there’s been a sharpish move away from Hillary to Obama and they are now both about evens. The latest prices are listed here.

Mike Smithson

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