ALEX CHADWICK, host:
This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
And I'm Madeleine Brand.
She is far ahead of him in national polls and she just beat him in summer fundraising. According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll out today, Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama among Democrats 53 percent to his 20 percent.
And here to talk about what this means for Barack Obama is NPR's Mara Liasson.
MARA LIASSON: Hi, Madeleine.
BRAND: So 20 percent to 53. Is it all over for Barack Obama?
LIASSON: Oh, certainly not. Nobody has voted yet, Madeleine.
(Soundbite of laughter)
LIASSON: It's true that she did raise more money this quarter, 22 million for the primaries to his 19 million, so that's a $3-million gap, but he's certainly is no slouch in that department. He still has the most money for the primaries altogether. He's raised a total of 74 million. She's raised total of 62 million. But it is true that this was a big piece of good news for Senator Clinton, and it was surprising. It wasn't predicted. Therefore surprises make news.
BRAND: And Mara, according this report, he did not attract as many new donors as Clinton, and people are making a lot out of this, saying that this could be the sign of bad things to come.
LIASSON: Well, first of all, she attracted 100,000 new donors this quarter; he attracted 93,000. Again, not a huge spread. And overall, he still attracted 140,000 more new donors than she has.
However, what Senator Clinton has done in the last quarter as she has started to focus on low-dollar fundraisers, which is something that he had focused on before. And now she counts everyone who buys a bumper sticker or a button from her Web site as a campaign donor. Now, he's been doing that all along. I think all of these things, though, help her campaign do what it's been trying very hard to do, which is create this aura of inevitability about her nomination.
BRAND: And so you see that yesterday she dominates the news cycle with her fundraising numbers the very day that Barack Obama gives a major foreign policy speech. Now, this seems to me that she is definitely winning the PR battle, at least.
LIASSON: Her campaign is filled with people who have done this many times before. They're a real skilled, experienced, aggressive team, and she is great at tactics, and that was a very smart thing to do.
She held back on her fundraising numbers. She waited till the day he was giving a big foreign policy speech reprising his initial opposition - the five-year anniversary of his initial opposition to the war in Iraq, and she upstaged him.
The war in Iraq is the biggest point of differentiation between Obama and Clinton and he has become much more aggressive at talking about this, saying that who had the judgment back in 2002, when she was voting for the war and he was speaking out against it. The problem is that Senator Clinton has been very successful at blurring the differences between herself and Barack Obama about the war. Ever since she voted for the war, she's been moving very steadily to vote again and again against the war.
And recently in New Hampshire, Barack Obama did something surprising that actually helped her keep those differences blurred. And that's when he was asked would you promise to get all troops out of Iraq by the end of your first term if you're elected president, and he said no. So did John Edwards, and of course so did Hillary Clinton. She has already indicated that she wouldn't commit to something like that.
So you've got this problem for him that the voters in the Democratic primary don't see big differences between the two of them on Iraq. And in these polls, she still holds the lead among voters who say we shouldn't have gone to war in the first place, even though that's where he's saying there is the biggest difference between them.
BRAND: Okay. Thank you. NPR's Mara Liasson.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.