Beltway donors give big

Feb. 3, 2008 at 10:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Washington D.C.-area residents gave more money to the Democratic presidential hopefuls than to the Republican candidates, data shows.

Campaign finance reports show among the Democratic contenders, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York raked in the most from the Beltway, raising $10.8 million, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Her closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., raised 7.4 million.

The reason for Clinton's prodigious fundraising in and around Washington is simple, said Rep. Thomas Davis III, R-Va.

"You have a lot of Clintonistas here, living here and lobbying here. It's a very strong network," Davis said. "Obama is the consummate outsider, and this is an inside-the-Beltway town."

In all, the Democratic presidential candidates collected $21.6 million, compared with the $8.7 million brought in by Republicans, the newspaper reported.

Arizona Sen. John McCain was the favored Republican presidential hopeful, raising $ 2.6 million. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised $2.3 million and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised just under $2 million. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee raised $168,000.

Paul Ellington, president of the national Republican recruiting group GOPAC, said its not surprising that Democrats raised more money in the region, noting that they have a voter registration edge.

"Republicans had no clear front-runner around whom to rally," Ellington added. "People were hedging their bets and playing the odds."

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