Sneak Peek: Clinton Wins Third Quarter Cash Contest

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Hillary Clinton raked in $27 million last quarter to beat her near closest Democratic rival, Barack Obama, by a cool $7 million.

The Clinton campaign announced their fundraising numbers on a day when the Obama campaign was looking to grab the headlines by drawing a sharp contrast with the Democratic frontrunner on the war in Iraq. (Hmm…coincidence?)

When pressed today about comments he made to the New York Times in 2004 about being unsure of what he would have done if he was in the Senate at the time of the war authorization vote, Obama said:

"The only time when I said I'm not sure what I would do if I were in the Senate was right before the Democratic convention when we had two nominees that obviously I did not want to be criticizing right before they got up and received the nomination." LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow reports that the Clinton camp was busily lowering expectations for their fundraising totals last week, telling reporters they expected to announce numbers in the ballpark of $17 million to $20 million.

"In the past, when Obama has out-raised Clinton, Clinton campaign officials had argued that fundraising wasn't everything.  But today, Clinton insiders say they are very pleased.  They say this suggests support for Obama is losing steam 'big time,' as one Clinton aide put it." LINK

ABC News' David Wright posed that question to the Obama campaign and not surprisingly, they have a different take on the numbers.

"I don't see it that way at all," Obama's senior political adviser David Axelrod told ABC News.  "The fact is we have raised more than any other candidate in this race and we have more small contributors than all the other candidates combined."

Now we wait for the results from the frontrunners on the Republican side – Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani still have not announced their campaigns' third quarter haul.

On the campaign trail…

Romney has no public events scheduled.

John McCain makes a military day of it in South Carolina as a part of his "Straight Talk Express Day." He addresses cadets at Camden Military Academy in Camden, SC at 9:00 am ET and meets with ROTC cadets at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC at 12:00 pm ET. McCain wraps up his day at the College of Charleston's Bully Pulpit Series.

Rudy Giuliani travels through New Hampshire, meeting with the residents of Manchester at 11:15 am ET, Derry at 12:30 pm ET, Nashua at 1:30 pm ET and Salem at 3:30 pm ET. For his last stop, he delivers remarks at a town hall meeting starting at 5:00 pm ET.

Fred Thompson starts his day with an event in Des Moines and then takes a 10:20 am ET tour of Lincolnway Energy in Nevada, Iowa. After that, it is off to a 1:15 pm ET lunch in Dubuque, Iowa before moving a bit east for a 6:30 pm ET fundraiser in Chicago, Ill. Thompson's day concludes with a appearance on Fox News Channel with his wife, Jerri, at 9:00 pm ET.

Mike Huckabee is a guest on Glenn Beck's syndicated radio show at 11:05 am ET.

Sen. Brownback will be on Capitol Hill attending to Senate business.

The Democrats. . .

Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Mike Gravel are at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. to attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Presidential Candidate Forum, which begins at 9:00 am ET.

Sen. Barack Obama has a foreign policy town meeting at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, at 12:00 pm ET and another town hall meeting at 2:45 pm ET in Washington, Iowa.

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