The Democratic race could come down to money

In what is perhaps the most stunning development of this primary season, Hillary Clinton is finding herself in a very dire financial situation, just as the campaign is facing the prospect of a long drawn-out ballot for delegates in which every vote will count all the way to... South Dakota and Montana on June 3rd!

The Clinton campaign appears to have strategized according to a February 5th finish, and they are now running out of money. In the run-up to Super Tuesday, much was made from the news that Obama had raised $32 million in January alone, whereas Clinton only raised $13,5 million in that month, a pretty big gap indeed.

That inferior financial state showed yesterday, as Clinton was not competing or airing ads in a number of the caucus states in which Obama was getting organized. That fact alone explains why Clinton sank in the delegate count in places like Minnesota and Idaho, and her overall delegate deficit can be attributed to this.

News got even worse for Clinton today. First, the campaign admitted that Hillary Clinton had loaned $5 million to her own campaign, which says a lot about how little cash she has left. Second, Time is now reporting that some of Clinton's top staffers are working without pay, including campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle.

Obama went up on air in February 9th and 12th states a week ago, way before Hillary Clinton did. And this spending discrepancy will continue in the coming weeks, as the Clinton camp will not be able to match Obama's ads, mailers and -- most importantly -- his ground operation. What could save Hillary here is that the electoral rhythm will slow down tremendously after next Tuesday, with only a few states voting at a time with a lot of time between Election Days. The conventional wisdom holds that this should help Obama better introduce himself to voters, but it will also allow Clinton to spend whatever money she has two or three state at a time. If another big primary day was coming up in the coming few weeks, odds are Clinton would have to concede some important states or scale back her operation.

In related news, New Mexico has still not been called -- nor has it finished counting its ballots. The voting was not updated for hours and had Clinton up 210 votes all day, with 98% reporting. A new batch of precincts have now reported and Clinton has expanded her lead a little to 1,100 votes. It is unclear why the state cannot get itself together and finish counting, especially as we had the same problem in 2006 in NM-1. The general election better not come down to New Mexico.



  • "The general election better not come down to New Mexico."

    It might. This election could be very close.

    By Anonymous C.S.Strowbridge, At 07 February, 2008 06:10  

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