Senator John McCain departs his campaign plane with Sen. Joe Lieberman and wife Cindy before a campaign appearance in February. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Turns out February was a big money month for the Democratic presidential contenders.
Hillary Clinton raised $35 million this month, more than double her January total of $14 million, despite 11 straight losses and her drop in the national polls. Clinton attributes the jump in donations to her passionate supporters who wanted to help when they saw the campaign struggling. One aide says the breakthrough moment actually came when Clinton announced she had loaned her campaign $5 million of her own money.
When it comes to Barack Obama, some estimate that he's raised more than $50 million in February. The campaign won't confirm that number, but insists it's had a strong month and raised "considerably more than Clinton's total." Obama raised $36 million in January,and it's estimated that on many days in February, his campaign took in more than $2 million.
There is no denying that the Democratic base is energized and raising buckets of money. A lot of these millions are coming from hundreds of thousands of small donors who can keep on giving. This could all prove to be a king-sized headache for the Republicans. John McCain raised about $12 million this month, which is about the same as what he raised in January.
Do the math. If the Democrats can raise $85 million a month and the Republicans raise less than a fourth of that, it's going to be a short campaign.
Here’s my question to you: The Democrats raised an estimated $85 million in February. How can John McCain compete when he only raised $12 million?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Kim from Columbus, Ohio writes:
John McCain needs to start a "movement". Republicans are backing him, but are not very excited about him. They figure they have no choice. He needs to add some fire to his campaign. If his rallies are really as boring as they look on TV, he's going to have a problem.
The question (as well as those numbers) are slightly skewed. McCain has practically locked up the nomination. Conservative donors will fund his campaign in time, but the money really won't start rolling into his coffers until the general election. The Democrats on the other hand are still in the midst of an extremely tight race. Democratic voters are still split so they feel the need to donate to their candidate of choice to try to push them over the top.
Rich from St. Marys, Georgia writes:
He can't compete. He can raise $12 billion, but it doesn't change his message. He can just push the same message more. We don't need more from him. His stance is clear. He has wrapped himself in Bush’s policies and that will be his ultimate downfall.
Susan from Seattle writes:
Easy, Jack. As soon as Huckabee bows out, the Republicans can declare McCain their nominee and the big corporations will fill up the coffers. The RNC will dump millions into the campaign from these wealthy donors. It doesn't matter if McCain goes with public funding or not. All the conservative PACs will come out of the woodwork and outspend the Democrats. They always do!
Jeff from Rye Brook, New York writes:
The only way that McCain can compete is if Obama keeps his pledge to use federal funding in the general election. If Hillary is the nominee, then she is not bound by any such pledge and can bludgeon the Republicans with the same tool (money) that the Republicans have wielded so often against the underfunded Democrats.
Ted from Phoenicia, New York writes:
Dear Jack, Maybe he should just bow out gracefully and give his money to a worthy cause, like Barack Obama.
Not to worry about the money, Jack. McCain won't need it when the right-wing evangelicals begin to pray for him.