Sunday 18 March 2018

Hilary Clinton raises $45m in campaign donations since entering race in April

Hillary Clinton waves to supporters on Roosevelt Island in New York (AP)
Hillary Clinton waves to supporters on Roosevelt Island in New York (AP)

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton has raised more than $45 million since she entered the race in April, aides said on Wednesday, setting a fast pace in what is sure to be the most expensive U.S. political campaign in history.

The fundraising figure, announced by the campaign on Twitter, did not include a breakdown of the total number of donors to Clinton, the amount of their average donation or how many donors have already given the legal maximum of $2,700.

But campaign aides said 91 percent of the donations were in amounts of $100 or less and touted the figure as a sign of broad-based grassroots support as she fights off a challenge from the party's liberal wing led by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The Sanders campaign said on Tuesday it had received contributions from about 200,000 individuals since he entered the race at the end of April, and donations averaged about $37 per person.

The Clinton haul surpasses the $42 million in primary funds raised by President Barack Obama in 2011 in the first quarter after he announced his re-election bid, the previous record for the first quarter of a campaign.

Clinton is the first 2016 presidential contender to report even a rough total on the fundraising numbers, which are viewed as an early indicator of a candidate's appeal and staying power in the race.

The specific fundraising figures for the fiscal quarter ending on June 30 must be reported to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. Clinton said on Twitter her campaign was "still running the numbers" for the final report.

Clinton has kept up an intensive national fundraising schedule since she launched her presidential bid in April, holding dozens of fund-raising events, often at the homes of wealthy donors.

The campaign featured a "Hillstarter" program that asks top donors to host fundraising events that each bring in at least $27,000 from donors.

The Associated Press reported Clinton has raised at least $19.5 million at 61 such fundraisers, an amount that makes up at least 43 percent of her fundraising total. It said the percentage was sure to be even higher, because it used the most conservative ticket prices to calculate the total raised at each event.

On Tuesday, the last day of the quarter, Clinton's campaign sent an email asking supporters to "chip in $1" to help it reach its goal of grass-roots donations.

The former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady has a big lead in polls over three Democratic challengers, giving her broad access to the party's top donors and fundraisers.

Fourteen Republicans are running for their party's nomination ahead of the November 2016 presidential election.

The fundraising numbers for Clinton and other candidates will pale compared to the huge sums expected to be raised by allied Super PACs.

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