Bradley outraises Gore by
2-1 margin in fourth quarter
McCain doubles fundraising; Bauer does well too
By Jonathan D. Salant, Associated Press, 12/29/99WASHINGTON -- In a sign of Bill Bradley's strong footing in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the former New Jersey senator raised twice as much money as Vice President Al Gore during the last three months of the year.
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain doubled his previous quarterly fund-raising mark, taking in $6.1 million from the beginning of October to the end of December as compared to $3 million during the previous three months.
Bradley reported Wednesday that he has raised more than $8 million since Oct. 1, bringing his total for the year to more than $27 million. Gore, on the other hand, raised just $4 million, bringing his total to $28 million, plus an additional $2.7 million to pay legal and accounting costs for the general election.
"Until voters actually get involved, the first primary is the money primary. Bradley seems to be winning that," said Candice Nelson, an associate professor of political science at American University.
Based on the fund raising to date, the Bradley campaign also expects to receive $10.1 million in federal matching funds while the Gore campaign expects $12.1 million. The federal government matches the first $250 of each individual contribution for presidential candidates who agree to limit their campaign spending.
Final year-end figures are due at the Federal Election Commission Jan. 31.
Bradley campaign chairman Douglas Berman said the campaign exceeded its goal of raising $20 million to $25 million by the end of the year.
"Without taking special interest PAC money and without exploiting any loopholes in the campaign finance system, we have exceeded that goal well ahead of schedule," Berman said.
Gore aides last fall said they expected to raise just $4 million this quarter, because they can only spend around $40 million to seek the nomination.
Spokesman Chris Lehane said he wasn't concerned about Bradley's fund-raising prowess.
"It's one more validation of the strength of the Clinton-Gore economy," Lehane said. "You have more people than ever before able to contribute. Voters this January will have a chance to choose between Al Gore, who wants to continue our current economic approach, and Sen. Bradley, who wants to take us in a different direction."
But State University of New York political science professor Alan Chartock said Gore should be worried.
"I still think he gets the nomination, but this is very bad news for him," Chartock said. "I find it extraordinary that almost the entire Democratic establishment is for Gore, and Bradley is still getting the money."
On the Republican side, Texas Gov. George W. Bush is expected to report raising more than $65 million, including at least $8 million during the last three months of the year, but McCain's fund raising has surged as he has moved up in opinion polls. McCain is ahead or tied with Bush in several New Hampshire surveys.
Thanks to the strong last quarter, McCain reported raising $13.6 million, plus an additional $2 million transferred from his Senate campaign. The Arizona senator also expects to receive $6.2 million in federal matching funds, bringing his year-end total to almost $22 million. Bush is not taking federal funding.
"While I am proud that our campaign has been about ideas, not bucks, I am grateful that we have raised the funds necessary to run an aggressive campaign that will get my message out even further," McCain said.
Another GOP presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, reported that he had raised around $7 million for the year, and expected another $4.4 million in federal funds.
"We're spending aggressively to compete on television and everywhere else in the early caucuses and primaries," Bauer campaign manager Frank Cannon said. "We're not going to leave any of it in a position where it could have helped us and didn't."
Bush declined to release his year-end numbers Wednesday, even as he announced that visitors to his campaign Web site would be able to search the list of donors by name, date, amount or state. Bush currently puts the names of campaign contributors on his Web site daily but the list is not in a format that can be searched.
In announcing the new format, Bush indirectly criticized McCain, who has called for new laws overhauling the way federal campaigns are financed.
"Complete and rapid disclosure of all campaign contributions is a healthy campaign finance reform that can begin today, and I am proud that my campaign is taking the lead," Bush said. "It doesn't take a new law for a candidate to post campaign contributors on the Internet every day; it just takes a commitment to full public disclosure."