Though March dealt him some disappointments, February was very good to Barack Obama. His campaign blew away records by raising $55 million — that’s $20 million more than the amount taken in by Hillary Clinton, who had her best month yet. But the best news of all for Obama is that, according to The Hotline, $54 million of that money can be used in the primaries.

That’s because most of Obama’s support comes from small contributions by many donors. He had 385,101 first-time contributors in February.

Clinton has run into difficulty because many of her supporters have already contributed the maximum allowed amount, which means some of the money she has raised could be used only in the general election.

Which is why Clinton allies have created “527 groups” to run ads in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. They can raise unlimited amounts of money to advertise on Clinton’s behalf, so long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign.

A similar group is already running ads against John McCain, and was just outed by the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio.

AP via Google:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Barack Obama raised a record $55 million in February for his presidential campaign, eclipsing rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s own substantial fundraising for the month. All told, Obama has raised $193 million during his yearlong bid for the White House.

The campaign’s announcement Thursday came two days after Obama lost three of four primaries to Clinton. Her victories stopped his winning streak and extended the race into an unpredictable future.

Obama’s February total was his second fundraising record. He raised $36 million in January, more than any other presidential candidate who has ever been in a contested primary. His combined January and February totals nearly matched what he raised last year.

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