Clinton takes a 'just enough' strategy to fundraising

Updated: 2015-06-24 21:04


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ST. LOUIS - The stars are out to raise money for Hillary Rodham Clinton, including Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and Jon Bon Jovi. But the front-runner for her party's presidential nomination for 2016 is following a "just enough" fundraising strategy that her supporters say will pay off over time.

The goal when she files her first fundraising report next month is to post a number that reassures Democrats she will have the resources to compete with the eventual Republican nominee, but doesn't chase away the smaller donors who would make up her strongest base of support in the general election.

Clinton and the other declared candidates will report how much they have raised through the end of June to the Federal Election Commission.

Unlike in 2008, Clinton is collecting money only for the primary contest, an amount capped at $2,700 per individual. If Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, she can ask for another $2,700 for the general election.

Since announcing her candidacy in mid-April, Clinton has raised at least $17 million, based on the number of people her campaign says have attended 49 fundraising events through Monday night.

Other candidates have emphasized super political action committees, which can accept donations of unlimited size but are prohibited from coordinating directly with the candidates they support. Republican Jeb Bush spent six months raising money for a super PAC before beginning traditional campaign fundraising. That approach has helped him amass as much as $100 million already.

Most of Clinton's fundraisers have also been smaller events at private homes, with audiences of no more than 250 people each giving the maximum.

She is applying some of the best practices of President Barack Obama, who raised almost 65 percent of the $33.2 million he collected in the first three months of his re-election campaign from small-dollar donors.

But she's relied upon celebrities, too. "Spiderman" star Tobey Maguire held an event last week that raised $500,000. On Wednesday, Clinton will appear with Bennett and Lady Gaga in New York. Next week, Bon Jovi will perform at his New Jersey home for Clinton and some of her donors.