Obama will need funds in election

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Finally, the presidential primary season wraps up today. Finally. The last two states are South Dakota and Montana. The candidates combined raised almost a billion dollars during this campaign. But the money race isn't working out the way Democrats had hoped. Steve Henn has this report.


Steve Henn: Barack Obama's presidential campaign pulled in more than a quarter of a billion dollars so far this election season. But if the senator finally emerges this week with the Democratic nomination, he and his party will be heading toward the general election actually behind in the money race.

Massie Ritsch is at the Center for Responsive Politics:

Massie Ritsch: When you are looking at a presidential candidate's strength, I wouldn't just look at him in isolation. I would look at the financial strength of anyone who can help him out.

Obama's campaign has twice as much money left as John McCain's, and Ritsch says his prospects for raising more are good. But the Democratic National Committee is almost broke while its Republican rival is sitting on more than $40 million.

Ritsch: The parties aren't going to wait until they have a nominee officially to go on the attack against the other guy. Parties can be a lot nastier than the candidate can.

That puts the Republicans in the catbird seat.

Evan Tracy: They have a short-term advantage right now.

Evan Tracy tracks political ads at the Campaign Media Analysis Group:

Tracy: So I think what you will see is the Republican party will get to work trying to spend this money really trying to define Barack Obama.

Republican online attack ads, like this one produced by the RNC, aren't running on TV yet.

Attack Ad: Barack Obama: Out of touch with American values…not ready to lead.

But Tracy says in the next 30 days, voters in swing states should expect to hear a barrage of Obama bashing on their sets at home.

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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