Washington Two Democratic presidential candidates broke previous fundraising records during the first three months of the year, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton setting a high bar of $26 million in new contributions for the quarter.
Former Sen. John Edwards raised more than $14 million since the beginning of the year. Clinton also transferred $10 million from her Senate campaign account, bringing her total receipts for the quarter to $36 million.
Unlike Edwards, Clinton aides would not reveal how much of her total was available only for the primary election and how much could be used just in the general election, if she were the party's nominee. By not breaking down the amount available for the primaries, the Clinton camp made it impossible to assess how much of an edge she actually has over Edwards.
Edwards' aides said about $1 million of his $14 million in contributions could only be used in the general election, should he win the nomination.
Neither Clinton nor Edwards disclosed how much money they spent in the quarter or how much cash they had in hand - numbers that also give clues to the relative strengths of the campaigns.
Still, the total raised by each candidate outdistanced past presidential election records and set a new bar by which to measure fundraising abilities.
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois - sandwiched in public opinion polls between Clinton and Edwards - had yet to reveal his totals but was said to have raised in the range of $20 million, a prodigious amount for a first-term senator. Obama was expected to be among the top Democratic fundraisers.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's campaign said he had raised $6 million in primary campaign money and had more than $5 million cash in hand at the end of the three-month period.
Aides to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said he raised more than $4 million in the quarter, transferred nearly $5 million form his Senate campaign account and had $7.5 million cash on hand.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., had total receipts close to $4 million for the quarter, an aide said Sunday. That amount includes less than $2 million transferred from his Senate campaign account. Richardson, Dodd and Biden only raised primary election money.
The rest of the Democratic field and the Republican presidential candidates planned to announce their first-quarter totals over the next few days. The fundraising deadline for the January through March period was Saturday, with financial reports due April 15.
Republican Phil Gramm of Texas and Democrat Al Gore of Tennessee held the records for first-quarter receipts: $8.7 million for Gramm in 1995 and $8.9 million for Gore in 1999. Gramm dropped out before New Hampshire held the 1996 election's first primary.
"We are completely overwhelmed and gratified by the historic support that we've gotten this quarter," Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle said. The Clinton total included $4.2 million raised through the Internet, typically a source of small donations.