Democratic Sen. Barack Obama raised 41 million U.S. dollars in March and had 42 million dollars available to spend against debt-ridden Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in April, campaign finance reports filed Sunday show.
Clinton reported raising about 20 million dollars in March and had about 8 million dollars for the primary available at the beginning of April. But she also reported debts of 10.3 million dollars, putting her in the red.
Overall, Obama had 51 million dollars in the bank at the end of March, with nearly 9 million dollars of that available only for the general election.
Obama's fundraising in March led all candidates, but was still lower than the mark he set in February, when he raised more than 55 million dollars. He has raised 235 million dollars in his campaign.
Republican John McCain's report showed he raised 15.2 million dollars and had 11.6 million dollars in the bank. The Arizona senator's March figures were his best fundraising performance of the campaign.
McCain in March refunded donors about 3 million dollars in contributions, most of it money he had received for the general election. The refunds set the stage for McCain to accept about 84 million dollars in public funds for the fall campaign. Candidates who accept public financing cannot raise money from donors for the general election campaign.
Obama spent 30.6 million dollars in March — a month that began with tough contests for the Illinois senator in Ohio and Texas. He lost the popular vote to Clinton in both state primaries even though he outspent her, but he emerged with more delegates in Texas.
Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said 15 million dollars of Clinton's 20 million dollars was raised over the Internet. He said the campaign has raised 60 million dollars over the Internet since Jan. 1. The surge of online support suggests she is attracting more small-dollar donors, but contributors who give larger amounts could also be encouraged to give online.