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Inside Politics

Dean nets $15 million in fourth quarter

Lieberman will focus on New Hampshire in early 2004

Howard Dean works the line earlier this week in Georgetown, South Carolina. That state's primariy is on February 3.
Howard Dean works the line earlier this week in Georgetown, South Carolina. That state's primariy is on February 3.

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BURLINGTON, Vermont (CNN) -- Democratic presidential hopeful and front-runner Howard Dean raised more than $15 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, his campaign has announced, breaking his previous quarter's total of $14.8 million.

That puts the Dean campaign's total fund raising for 2003 at more than $40 million, as the former governor of Vermont continues his grassroots push, hoping to win the party's nomination for its presidential candidate. (Dean holds nationwide house parties)

While that is likely to be the most money raised by any of the Democrats in the race, it pales in comparison to the $50 million raised by the Bush-Cheney re-election team in the third quarter alone. (Bush aides look to put Democrats on the defensive)

Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi said on the campaign's Web site that $414,540 in contributions came in Wednesday, pushing the total to $15,386,183.25.

Other candidates have yet to reveal their fund-raising numbers, which do not have to be reported until the end of January.

Last week, the Wesley Clark campaign told CNN it expected to raise $10 million in the quarter.

Sen. John Edwards anticipated raising $5 million.

Others, including Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman and Rep. Dick Gephardt, declined to provide a forecast.

But last week, Kerry announced he was taking a mortgage of more than $6 million on his home to lend money to his campaign. He also loaned an additional $850,000 from his other assets. (Kerry's mortgage, Kerry's earlier loan)

By the end of the third quarter, Kerry had raised $20 million, the second most among the Democrats. But Kerry is also one of the top spenders of campaign cash, spending more than he raised last quarter.

Dean, on the other hand, only spent a little over half the money he had raised.

Dean and Kerry have opted out of public financing which would have limited the amount of money they could spend in different primaries. (Dean lets supporters decide on public financing)

'The focus of his life'

Lieberman's campaign director announced Wednesday that the candidate will move "the focus of his life" to New Hampshire for the next month, bypassing heavy campaigning in Iowa ahead of that state's January 19 caucuses. (CNN.com's interactive Election Calendar)

"One of the advantages of not campaigning in Iowa is that it frees up a huge amount of time to stay in New Hampshire," said campaign director Craig Smith.

New Hampshire holds the first primary in the nation, January 27. (CNN.com's interactive Primary Explainer)

The senator also is to beef up his spending on advertising for January, Smith said in a conference call Wednesday, doling out just under $1 million per week, after having spent that amount per month previously.

"These new ads will go along with the sharpened message, both with Bush and with Dean -- with him raising taxes on the middle classes," Smith said.

"And the differences in terms of security and national defense, where I think the differences are night and day."

"We'll continue to draw a contrast with George Bush, and we'll continue to draw a contrast with the other Democratic candidates and particularly Howard Dean, who the polling shows is doing well at this point," he said.

Lieberman is to participate in radio call-in shows each morning in New Hampshire, and will begin each day with a personal appearance at a diner in events labeled "Do a cup of Joe with Joe."

When asked how Dean's fund raising would affect the campaign, Smith said it wouldn't.

"If money picks presidents, then President [Steve] Forbes would have followed President [Phil] Gramm."

Lieberman's campaign officials say they expect to get $3.6 million in matching funds from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), with another $390,000 coming in February.


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