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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Obama's fundraising challenges Clinton's frontrunner status

Obama announced Wednesday he nearly tied his chief rival in fundraising.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, raised "at least $25 million" for his presidential bid in the first three months of 2007, his campaign announced Wednesday morning.

The $25 million haul all but matches Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's, D-New York, fundraising haul for the same three month time period. Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, earlier this week reported raising $26 million for her campaign.

Of the $25 million-plus taken in, Obama's campaign said that nearly $7 million was raised from the Internet and that $23.5 million of those funds can be spent in the Democratic primary.

The initial fundraising deadlines are generally considered to be an early indicator of a candidate's viability, but given the fundraising options available to the candidates -- such as raising money for both the primary and general elections -- it is difficult to compare individual campaigns until detailed financial reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission later this month.

The campaigns have released rough estimates of their fund-raising, but the complete reports are not due until April 15.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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