Obama outpaces Clinton in local fundraising

Barack Obama has raised three times more money than Hillary Clinton in Jackson and Josephine counties. The finance data, released by the Federal Election Commission last week, covers contributions through March 31.

In the two Southern Oregon counties, Obama raised $99,345 compared to Clinton's $31,980, which she raised from fewer than 200 contributors. In Oregon, Obama has pulled in $1,560,932 compared to Clinton's $540,257.

Obama has netted more than all Republican presidential contenders combined in the state. In Jackson and Josephine counties, all Republican presidential candidates received $73,199.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona trails behind the two Democrats, raising $13,311 in the two counties from fewer than 100 contributions and $276,152 in the state. Statewide, the presumed Republican presidential nominee also lags behind donations to Mitt Romney and John Edwards, who have both dropped out of the race.

"McCain is not the charismatic, energizing character as some of these other candidates," said Bryan Platt, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Central Committee.

He doesn't expect the momentum for McCain to build until after the Democrats have nominated their candidate.

Platt said it will then become more apparent to Republicans just how liberal McCain's rival will be.

"It's going to take time for the Republicans to realize what the consequences are in this election," he said.

While McCain hasn't been receiving as many contributions as Obama or Clinton, he's also not spending as much money, which will help in the general election, said Platt.

"Hopefully, he's just squirreling it away," he said.

Nick Shapiro, spokesman for the Obama campaign, said his candidate has not only successfully raised the most money so far, but hasn't taken a dime from special interests, unlike his opponent.

Based on the last time he looked at the data, Shapiro said Obama received 1.3 million contributions that averaged less than $90.

"Barack Obama is raising great sums of money from regular Americans," he said. "It just shows the growing amount of support for Barack Obama."

Julie Edwards, spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, said, "We know we've been outspent — to — or 4 to — in the last few states."

Despite raising less money, the Clinton campaign is confident it has the resources it needs to win this election, said Edwards.

She said people from across the state have responded enthusiastically to Clinton, particularly after her recent visit to Oregon.

"This is a campaign about issues," she said. "The most important thing is she's going to focus on Oregon issues."

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