Flush campaigns can't flush away funds

Cash donations for Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Counting up what's in their till. That's what presidential candidates will do as the quarter closes Sunday.

Who raises the most money has become a closely watched spectator sport in Washington. Marketplace's Steve Henn says can't buy you love -- especially if you don't spend it.


Steve Henn: Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama probably hauled in close to $20 million a piece in the last three months.

And Tony Carrado. who studies campaign finance at Colby College, says almost all the leading campaigns are flush.

Tony Carrado: We are getting to the point in the process where cash is king.

Evan Tracy at the Campaign Media Analysis Group says the danger most candidates now face isn't running out of money, it's that they won't spend their cash fast enough.

Evan Tracy: Rudy Guilliani hasn't aired a television commercial yet. You know, John Edwards hasn't gone on with significant ad buys yet.

John Edwards once led the Democrats in Iowa, but heavy ad buys by Obama & Clinton have made it a three-way race. And Republican Mitt Romeny has used a big ad budget to move from single digits into the lead in the early states.

Tracy says the rush of early primaries has actually made contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina even more important -- and more expensive than ever.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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