-- Presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama raised at least $32.5 million in the second quarter of 2007, topping his first quarter effort by nearly $7 million, the Illinois Democrat's campaign announced Sunday.
More than 154,000 donors contributed to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign in the second quarter, his aides said.
The Obama campaign said the senator raised "at least" $31 million in the second quarter in primary money, and a total -- counting $1.5 million in general election funds -- of $32.5 million.
The amount is believed to be the highest ever raised in a quarter by a Democratic candidate, and exceeded what rival Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign predicted she would raise in the same period.
In an e-mail posted on the campaign Web site, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the fundraising will allow Obama to compete fully funded in all February 5, 2008, contests in states like California and New York.
"Frankly, when we entered this race, we did not think that was possible," Plouffe wrote. "We estimated at this point of the campaign we'd be at least $20-25 million behind one of our fellow candidates."
Clinton's campaign has not yet released the amount of money raised for the second quarter, which ended at midnight Saturday.
Spokesman Howard Wolfson said Thursday that the New York senator and former first lady expected to be out-raised by Obama. Wolfson said she would raise "in the range of $27 million" in the second quarter, putting her total take for the year north of $53 million.
In the first quarter, Obama raised $25.7 million, and $24.8 million of that was for the primary campaign. Clinton led Democratic fundraising in the first quarter, raising $26 million, and posted another $10 million from her Senate war chest.
More than 154,000 donors contributed money to Obama's campaign this quarter, up from the 104,000 donors in the first quarter, Obama's campaign said....
Pretty impressive stuff.
I fully expect a smear campaign to discretely eminate from the Clinton camp as this will be perceived as a major threat to her "front runner" status.