I know, old pun. But take a look at the chart below I compiled from information released by The Campaign Finance Institute (great organization, check them out!). It compares presidential campaign fundraising, up to and including the 2nd quarter of the odd year preceding the election, for this and several previous election cycles.
It's rather shocking how much total fundraising has gone up. It's two and a half times higher now than at this point four years ago. But look at the Democratic/Republican trend. Comparing 1999, the last cycle with an open seat, to 2007, Republicans have almost doubled their fundraising, but Democrats have increased theirs by a factor of five!
Like it or not, and I don't, money buys elections. Democrats are now more than competitive in the presidential money race, and that does bode well for 2008.
There are lots more goodies in the Campaign Finance Institute report that I'll be writing about over the next few days, including small verses large donor info for all the current presidential candidates. Which major Democratic candidate raises a larger percentage of money from large donors than most Republicans? Stay tuned!