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Obama & McCain in Black / Clinton deep in debt

Obama, McCain hold cash while Clinton sees debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The money tells the tale. Democrat Barack Obama entered May sitting comfortably atop more than $37 million in the bank. Republican John McCain had nearly $22 million in hand. Hillary Rodham Clinton, once the Democrats’ presidential front-runner, was in the red.

Obama, moving closer to his party’s nomination, let his fundraising slow only slightly last month and collected $31 million. Clinton raised more than $21 million, but was saddled with debts. And McCain, in his best monthly performance yet, hauled in $18 million.

Financially, the month tracked the three candidates’ political fortunes. Clinton beat Obama in Pennsylvania on April 22 and saw a $10 million surge in donations in a 24-hour period. But money and the delegates needed for the nomination still flowed primarily to Obama.

McCain, lacking rivals and assured the GOP nomination, spent little and worked on consolidating his fundraising base.

The three candidates filed their financial reports Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Together, the reports reinforce what is increasingly evident in the campaign: Obama and McCain are equipping themselves to confront each other, while Clinton, risking a personal financial hit, is quixotically hanging on to the end.

In a continued expansion of Obama’s fundraising network, his campaign reported nearly 1.5 million donors since he started raising money for his presidential race. With such extraordinary numbers behind him, Obama appears to have access to a continuing flow of money, though his April total was his smallest haul this year. Overall, he has raised close to $265 million in his White House bid.    Link to complete AP story>>>

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