Republican presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain dramatically strengthened his cash reserves in April, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday night. But McCain's finances still lag behind those of his likely Democratic rival this fall, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
McCain's cash on hand nearly doubled to $21.8 million, as more Republicans reached for their checkbooks to support the nominee-to-be — and as he held spending down to his lowest monthly level this year.
But Obama's campaign closed out April with $37.4 million on hand for the primary season, plus $9 million more that would become available after the Democratic convention.
Obama raised $30.7 million last month, compared with $17.8 million for McCain. That made April Obama's worst fundraising month of this year and McCain's best since he announced in early 2007.
Obama's campaign emphasized its continued success with small donors, who have helped the candidate break Democratic fundraising records. McCain continues to woo uncommitted Republican donors and plans to take public financing for the fall. This financing would be worth more than $84 million — a sum that Obama expects to overwhelm with funds from his network of 1.5 million donors.
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $21 million in April and reported an official cash-on-hand figure of $29.7 million.
But Clinton's campaign debt has climbed to roughly $21 million, twice as much as on April 1. The figure includes $11.4 million in loans from Clinton herself, in January, April and May, plus $16,069 in interest on those loans.
Her campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, told reporters Tuesday the campaign would carry debts until the end of the primaries in June.