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Clinton's money: Can she compete?

  • Story Highlights
  • Clinton camp says they raised $10 million in 24 hours following Pennsylvania win
  • Two months ago, Clinton lent her campaign $5 million of her own money
  • Obama has consistently outraised Clinton
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From Randi Kaye
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania victory seems to be helping her regain ground financially against rival Barack Obama, who has outraised her by tens of millions of dollars.

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Sen. Hillary Clinton got a big financial boost after her Pennsylvania win.

The day that followed Clinton's Pennsylvania win was the biggest day in the history of her campaign, according to Terry McAuliffe, her campaign chairman.

The New York senator raised $10 million through the Internet and had 80,000 new donors, he said.

Compare that to two months ago, when Clinton could not afford to pay staffers and even lent her campaign $5 million from her own pocket.

"There's no such thing as being broke when you have a brand name in politics, and the Clinton name is one of the best brand names in American politics," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Obama outspent Clinton 3-1 in Pennsylvania, but she still won by about 10 points. Video Watch how the Clinton campaign is playing catch up »

Despite the loss, the Obama campaign says the Illinois senator also raised millions on Wednesday.

"I don't think either candidate is going to lose this campaign or win this campaign on the basis of donations. They're going to win it or lose it based on who the American people and who the Democrats think can deliver the most effective message of change," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, co-chair for Obama's national campaign.

At the end of March, Clinton had just $8 million to spend on primaries, compared to Obama's more than $42 million, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

To date, the Clinton campaign has spent about $163 million, and Obama's campaign has spent more than $189 million.

Both candidates, however, have debt. Obama owes about $660,000, and Clinton is in the red by about $10 million.

With Indiana less than two weeks away, Clinton is not hesitating to ask for cash.

"We can only keep winning if we can keep competing with an opponent who outspends us so massively," she said in her victory speech Tuesday. Video Watch Clinton ask for cash »

Jennifer Donahue, political director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, says there is "no doubt" Clinton needs the money to win Indiana.

"She needs a lot of cash on hand to run a good, strong, ground operation to get out the vote," she said.

Clinton is turning to small donors to help pad her account.

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The main page of her presidential Web site now reads,"Thank you, Pennsylvania. Keep the momentum going. Contribute $5 below."

When asked if Clinton might spend more of her money if campaign funds are short, McAuliffe said, "Everything's always on the table." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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