Barack Obama surpassed expectations Wednesday with the announcement that his campaign raised $25 million in the first quarter, almost as much as Hillary Clinton with her record $26 million. Though Clinton pulled in more overall, Obama had twice as many individual donors and outraised the front-runner online.


Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for president took on a new luster Wednesday, with the announcement that he raised “at least $25 million” in the first three months of this year. The total puts Obama, who’s been in national politics for roughly two-and-a-half years, essentially even with Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who has raised $26 million.

The Clinton campaign announced its numbers on Sunday. In addition to her $26 million, Clinton transferred another $10 million from her Senate campaign account. Obama, who ran for Senate in 2004, doesn’t have any such reserve.

But Obama may have raised more than Clinton in terms of dollars available for spending in the primaries. Both candidates — as well as Democrat John Edwards and Republicans Rudy Giuliani and John McCain — are simultaneously soliciting money for the primaries and the general election. A candidate can ask a donor for a maximum of $2,300 for the primaries — and another $2,300 for the general election. The only drawback is that general-election money cannot be used in the primaries.

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