Jun 4 2008
09:02 am
By: R. Neal

Primary voting from Greenpapers:

Obama: 17,564,962
Clinton: 17,839,607
McCain: 9,591,488

Total Dem primary votes: 37,131,605
Total GOP primary votes: 20,581,436

That's nearly a 30 point spread for Democrats, almost two to one.

Campaign fundraising (through April) from Open Secrets:

Obama: $265,439,277
Clinton: $214,883,437
McCain: $96,654,783

The Democrats out-fundraised McCain by more than four to one.

These are some kick-ass numbers across the board for Democrats.

Notwithstanding the obscene amounts of money being spent on the primaries, let's hope these trends carry forward into November!

gonzone's picture


Real Clear Politics has a little better breakdown of the popular vote totals. They calculate all the different variables of "what states counts" or not. (link...)

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Bbeanster's picture

You've got a helluva nerve,

You've got a helluva nerve, gonzone, introducing unapproved numbers that do not support the soon-to-be historical mantra that Hillary won the popular vote in 2008.

R. Neal's picture

That is not what this post

That is not what this post is about, Betty. Obama won. Get over it.

This post is about the incredible turnout of Democrats in this primary, and the fundraising prowess of both candidates.

R. Neal's picture

You can drill down to the

You can drill down to the individual states at Greenpapers to see how they came up with that. I have found their numbers to be the most reliable so far, and the most up to date with regards to sanctions, rule changes, etc.

Anyway, let's use the RCP numbers:

Obama: 17,535,335
Clinton: 17,493,658
McCain: 9,591,488

Yep, Democrats are still kicking some GOP nominee butt. (Had to use Greenpapers total for McCain, can't find it at RCP.)

rocketsquirrel's picture

really Randy? And your next

really Randy? And your next post is about the archaic and disproportionate caucus system...I agree with Betty. Let's stop this right now.

Can we please move on to the general? I noticed this morning on GMA that Carville refused Diane Sawyer's effort to get him to come through with his promise to cut a check to Obama. He said he would wait until "his girl" declares Obama the nominee.

That is absurd, astonishing, and beneath them all.

R. Neal's picture

Doug, this is very

Doug, this is very insulting. I am trying to be positive here. In other cases I am walking on eggshells to try to be fair yet talk about some important issues, and all I get for my trouble is more insults every day. You are making shit up about me. You don't know me, and you can't read my mind. Obviously.

Obama won. Y'all need to get over it, quit rubbing people's nose in it and move on. I have.

Andy Axel's picture

Sometimes, I wonder if some

Sometimes, I wonder if some in the online Obama support squad wants to hear this:

"Now that Obama has won, I must now admit how hateful, how vile, how stupid, and how divisive that Hilllary is. I've seen the error of my ways. You all were right. My choice was so wrong. Please please please please forgive me for supporting Hillary Clinton!"

If that's what's on anyone's mind? Y'all can forget it. If that sounds defiant, it is.

However, here's my current outlook on the matter, for what it's worth: Obama fairly won the nomination in a toughly contested battle. Clinton fought hard and rightfully won nearly half the vote in that contest. Obama will be the nominee, emerging from a field of excellent candidates.

AND the process is hard to understand, the rules are Byzantine, there is an honest difference of opinion about the mechanics, the bizarro insistence that NH and IA need to come first is long past its usefulness, the superdelegates rule is an aggravator rather than a mitigator, there was a morass involving two important states in that hotly contested contest, and a lot of feelings were hurt all around. Oh yeah, and the press needs to focus on the real and the important rather than flag pins and fairy tales.

AND this HRC supporter is going to vote for Obama notwithstanding.

AND, for some, that's just apparently not enough. But it's gonna have to do.


"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

rocketsquirrel's picture

what did I make up? How did

what did I make up? How did I insult you? You questioned the fairness of the caucus process, and I point out that the day after we get a nominee is not the time for that, and then I point out Carville's absurd comment.

pardon my french, but WTF?

R. Neal's picture

The thing I don't get is

The thing I don't get is that the Obama people are free to post whatever they want in support of their candidate, or to bash Hillary all they want. Yet most of them don't. They wait for someone to say something obliquely nice about Clinton and then come sniping in comments.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, Democrats are putting up huge numbers in terms of both turnout and fundraising. I thought this was a good thing. Apparently not.

gonzone's picture

It's great!

I think the primary registration and turnout numbers are very impressive and a great indicator of where America is headed politically. And about damn time!
I look forward to having a political party that doesn't hate government doing the governing. It's gonna take a hell of a lot of hard work and time to fix all the stuff that Republicans have destroyed.

I had not intended to stir up a s*it storm by posting other sources!

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

R. Neal's picture

I had not intended to stir

I had not intended to stir up a s*it storm by posting other sources!

I didn't think so. Folks are just upset (although I'm not clear on why Obama folks are - sore winners?) and looking for any angle of attack.

Hayduke's picture

Back on topic

From this angle it seems like a potential Democratic blow-out in the elections while polling shows a tight race. I'm hoping this means that people who are still inclined to vote Republican aren't going to turn out in November either, but I'm sure it's more complicated than that. Primary voters tend to be more involved and politically aware than the unwashed masses who show up for the general election.

R. Neal's picture

Yes, and an early win for

Yes, and an early win for McCain may have suppressed GOP turnout. I guess it would depend on what other local races were going on, too. I don't put much credence in the idea that it also freed up some Republicans to cross over and vote for who they wanted to run against. I'm sure it happens but I doubt it had much of an effect.

The dollars are more interesting than the vote, though. McCain didn't have to spend much money, but it seems to me like he would want to pile up as much cash as possible before the limits reset for the general election.

CBT's picture

The two keys on money is how

The two keys on money is how much is left to spend and how much can they still raise, through the campaigns, parties and interest groups. The big numbers Randy cites may mean a lot of Dems have already maxed out. Have both nominees opted out of federal matching? I think Obama said he would. Now that we know the candidates, it will be interesting to see who's motivated to give.

Republicans have not had much of a reason to turn out in months, unlike Democrats who didn't decide until last night. The Democrats did turn out a lot of voters. But, matching it against Republican turnout in a race with no contest means little to nothing.

Now, the media will focus on the two candidates, which is a different kind of scrutiny. There will also be much discussion on Veeps. I can't see Obama picking Hillbilly for various reasons, but I didn't think Obama could win the nomination. So, who knows.

Bbeanster's picture

The two keys on money is

The two keys on money is how much is left to spend and how much can they still raise, through the campaigns, parties and interest groups. The big numbers Randy cites may mean a lot of Dems have already maxed out. Have both nominees opted out of federal matching? I think Obama said he would. Now that we know the candidates, it will be interesting to see who's motivated to give.

Once again, CBT, Obama's money has come in small pittances -- widow's mites, if you will (since I'm going biblical today). He has amassed the largest donor base in history, and it's not going to get any smaller, now that he's the nominee. This was the thing that the Clintons didn't grok, in the beginning, and evidently you don't, either. You get a million people like me sending in a couple hundred bucks in dribs and drabs, and pretty soon you're talking real money. And we're not going to max out. I'm always going to find another $25 for Barack.

Rachel's picture

This is one place where I

This is one place where I agree with Betty and the pundits. Obama has a serious fund-raising advantage because of all the small donors he can reach through the net.

And I'll be one of 'em.

R. Neal's picture

And this from my inbox re.

And this from my inbox re. the progressive movement dividend: - Left’s cash crushing right

“Conservatives are completely outmanned, outnumbered and out-financed,” said David Bossie, president of Citizens United, one of the few conservative groups that has announced plans to spend millions this fall. “We have to work harder.”

The article lists a whole slew of liberal advocacy groups and PACs with dough to spread around.

Brian A.'s picture


That's a pretty good description of the money wasted spent during the primaries.

The general election campaign is an entirely different race than what we just saw. I'd like to think that we can project large vote total and fundraising numbers forward into the future. But that doesn't necessarily follow.

Brian A.
I'd rather be

bill young's picture

2 things

1.Politics aint bean bag

If you've ever stood at poll working for a candidate
you know people get down right insulting..folks will
cuss whats been posted on this blog about Obama &
Clinton doesn't suprise me at all.

And yes folks who work a poll for the first time
just cant believe a normal human being..well a bunch
of normal human beings will tell you to go fuck yourself
because you ask em to vote for candidate x or y.

There is a reason mama said dont talk politics
or religion

2.92k voted in the knox county primary
but 200,000 will vote in the november general.

So while record primary turn out is good.

There are 108,000 voters we haven't heard from
in knox county alone.

CBT's picture

The one thing small donors

The one thing small donors produce is committed supporters. If you get someone to give $5 they will brave any storm to vote and likely tell others to vote. But, I'm not sure the math works and that many small donors can make up for a fundraising advantage with larger donors. If Dems have tapped out of a lot of $2,300 givers, it's an advantage for McCain.

I don't know where each is money-wise, but a whole lot of money was raised and spent in the Democratic primary. I'm sure more information will be forthcoming. Inquiring minds will want to know.

R. Neal's picture

From the Open Secrets link

From the Open Secrets link in the original post, thru April...

McCain had $23,988,473 on hand, with debt of $968,301.

Obama had $46,555,057 on hand, with debt of $2,037,801.

Clinton had $29,666,453 on hand, with debt of $19,480,893.

It is estimated that the general election campaigns will cost each candidate $500 million.

CBT's picture

I still say with all the

I still say with all the money raised and spent in the Democratic primary, there have to be a lot of Dems maxed out. There may be some who post on this board who fit that description. Be interesting to see if that has an impact on the general election. McCain has spent, what, 5% of his opponents over the last few months? Plus, with an identified opponent, he will now have an easier time raising money.

Geez, over a billion dollars on a single race.


bizgrrl's picture

Geez, over a billion dollars

Geez, over a billion dollars on a single race.

It just doesn't seem right. This is something they need to fix. A billion would go far to help the needy.

mjw's picture

Not so maxed out, by the numbers

As of the third week in May, Obama had only $9.2 million in funds that could only be spent on the general election. Out of almost $50 million cash-on-hand. That shows that very few of his big-money donors are maxed out in the traditional sense. And then there are all of Hilary's big-money donors who will be jumping on the bandwagon. Or at least the ones he'll take money from given his lobbyist restrictions.

Small money donors will keep giving as long as they can come up with the cash.

R. Neal's picture

Here's an interesting WSJ

Here's an interesting WSJ article on the fundraising so far:


It says that only 240 Obama donors have maxed out.


The nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute said 23% of Sen. McCain's donors gave in increments of $200 or less, and 40% gave in one lump sum of $2,300.


Sen. Obama has raised 47% of his money in increments of $200 or less per donation. Nineteen percent of his money has come from people who gave $2,300 at one time, the institute says.

Pam Strickland's picture

Well, I'm going to try this

Well, I'm going to try this again. RufusKitty just came through and wiped out what I'd written before. So much for my beautiful prose.

First, thanks Randy for giving us these primary voter numbers and the campaign fund snapshots.

Hayduke, I think part of the polls vs. turnout question is answered by the fact that an overwhelming number of young folks have gotten involved and they, for the most part, only have cell phones. For the most part, pollsters don't survey with cell phone numbers.

I think it's very clear that we can't relax. We, as Democrats, must work hard to convince folks that Obama is the better candidate and to make sure that fund raising continues at high levels and then make sure that folks get to the polls on election day.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

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