Wesley Clark on the Campaign Trail

ABC News contacted Clark campaign officials after the article was published, inquiring about figure that Pickler attributed to Clark "aides." But three said that the number came as a shock to them and they did not know where that number came from or whether it was with or without matched funds. At the time, the campaign did not have a goal amount on the record and the AP was never asked to revise the figure.

--On Nov. 13, the AP's Sharon Theimer wrote that Clark "expects to collect at least $6 million in the current fund-raising quarter, which runs from October through December." Communications Director Matt Bennett confirmed that to ABC News at the time.

--Now the number has gone to an all-time high — more than $12 million in the fourth quarter. Bennett told ABC News that estimate does not include matching funds, but is the total estimate for what they'll raise in the 4th quarter, based on what they project to receive from donors. As for skeptics, Bennett says, "They're welcome to be skeptical. But the fact is, we wouldn't put this out there if it wasn't true."

As of now, Bennett estimated that 35 percent to 45 percent of the money is coming from Internet donations, while the rest falls into the mail/major donors categories.

Campaign Chairman Eli Segal said the campaign has "a good chance of reaching $12 million, but that's based on successful fundraising events in the month of December" and that number is "hitting the higher end of [the campaign's] estimates." Segal also said that the number is based on the fact that the campaign is raising "over $800,000 per week to date" and has "incredibly good fundraising events in December."

One such fundraiser is the Dec. 9 New York City event that falls on the same night as the first New Hampshire debate. Clark will skip the debate to attend the fundraiser, slated to raise $1.5 million.

He explained that the campaign knew Clark had to go to The Hague for three or more days, "you can't move events with impunity in December," and "sending Mrs. Clark or Wes Jr. was not an option." More importantly, it seems clear from many of the campaign staffers, the New York fundraiser could pay for the whole New Hampshire media campaign.

As for the campaign's decision to take public financing, Bennett said, "We think money is coming in at an impressive rate," but it's not fast enough that we can opt out of public financing. He went on to explain that while the campaign is doing extremely well now with the luxury of time for fundraising in New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, to be competitive in January and February (when they would have to raise $18 million), and without the time for fundraising, the campaign felt they had to take the public financing.

Chris Lehane, the Clark campaign's communication's strategist, said "based on fundraisers scheduled, based on what we're seeing over the Internet … a combination of all those factors, makes us pretty comfortable that that's the number we'd get to."

To CAN-vass or to can-VASS; that is the question

The Clark campaign is gearing up in New Hampshire. Over the weekend, volunteers canvassed 15,000 doors seeking to get the Clark name out. In total, 187 volunteers showed up at the Rogers Street office in Manchester as part of the "Student Invasion Weekend" by college students into the Granite State — coming from schools in Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...