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Bradley claims to catch Gore in overall fund-raising

McCain quarterly figures double

December 29, 1999
Web posted at: 5:57 p.m. EST (2257 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley's campaign said Wednesday he raised enough money in the fourth quarter of 1999 to put him on a financial par with Vice President Al Gore, while Republican candidate John McCain apparently doubled his quarterly fund-raising totals.

The Bradley campaign released Wednesday a statement saying it will report raising more than $8 million in the period covering October through December. The figure, the most that Bradley has raised in a quarter so far, brings his campaign's total to more than $27 million for the year.


While the Gore campaign isn't expected to release final figures until Thursday, the campaign is expected to have raised about $4 million in the final quarter. The campaign's fund-raising total is expected to be around $28 million.

Bradley's fund-raising strength has been matched by a steep upswing in spending. The campaign says it spent $10.4 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its total spending to about $19 million this year.

The Gore campaign has not released its spending figures for the quarter, but as of September 30, the campaign had already spent about $14.5 million.

Since both campaigns are accepting federal matching funds and are thereby subject to overall spending limits, the real test will be in how much each campaign has spent so far and how much cash on hand they have coming into the primary season.

The Bradley campaign is estimating it will have $8.3 million cash on hand. The Gore campaign will release its figures Thursday.

The fourth fund-raising quarter ends on Friday. Candidates are required to file their fourth quarter FEC report by January 31.

On the Republican side, candidate John McCain announced Wednesday that he raised $6.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1999, double the amount he raised in the third quarter.

With its fourth quarter results, the McCain campaign said it will have raised more than $21 million in 1999 through fund-raising, money transferred from the Arizona senator's campaign committee and federal matching funds. The campaign will begin 2000 with more than $7 million in funds available.

"I am extremely gratified by the overwhelming enthusiasm for my independent conservative reform message expressed by thousands of people who have shown their support with their contributions," McCain said in a statement. "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's increased fund-raising reflects his emergence as a credible challenger to Republican front-runner George W. Bush. In many polls, McCain is leading the Texas governor in New Hampshire and has gained on him in South Carolina. But Bush still holds a commanding lead in national polls. The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll had Bush with 60 percent of Republican voters, followed by McCain with 17 percent.

Bush has raised at least $63 million, a record for a presidential campaign. Bush's massive fund-raising also is allowing to forego federal matching funds, which will allow him to ignore spending limits.

Matching funds are given to candidates who agree to limit their spending. The government matches the first $250 of each individual contribution to participating presidential candidates.

One of the main issues of McCain's campaign is campaign finance reform, although his main objective is to ban "soft money," which are unregulated donations given to the major political parties.

McCain raised $13.6 million this year and transferred $2 million from his Senate campaign to finance his presidential bid. His campaign also has qualified for more than $6.2 million in federal matching funds. The McCain campaign also announced this week it had raised more than $1 million on the Internet.


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Wednesday, December 29, 1999

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