Obama raises 19 million dollars in 2008 money chase

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WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) Sen. Barack Obama raised 19 million dollars yesterday in the last three months in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, adding 93,000 new donors and bringing his total haul to 75 million dollars his campaign said yesteray.

Obama's primary campaign fundraising was down from million in the second quarter, when he led all Democratic candidates. Fundraising typically drops in the third quarter as candidates compete for attention with summer vacations.

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who holds a strong lead on the Democratic field in national polls but trailed the Illinois senator in fundraising last quarter, has not reported her figures yet.

Obama's campaign aides said the fundraising haul, and a donor list that now exceeds 350,000, showed their grass-roots strength and cast doubt on predictions Clinton was too strong to beat.

''This grass-roots movement for change will not be deterred by Washington conventional wisdom because in many ways it is built to challenge it,'' said Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe.

Candidates for president must report their fund-raising activity every three months. The third quarter ended at midnight on Sunday.

Donors can give up to 2,300 dollars to finance a primary race and another 2,300 dollars for the general election if the candidate gets the nomination. Obama raised another 1 million dollars for the general election in the third quarter, the campaign said.

While Clinton leads in national polls, she is in a three-way struggle in the early voting state of Iowa with Obama and John Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential nominee. Edwards planned to release his fundraising figures later tiday.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson reported raising about 5.2 million dollars in the third quarter, down slightly from 7 million dollars In the second quarter. Richardson has raised about 18.5 million dollars in the first nine months of the year.

Richardson's camp said the amount put him in a position to challenge for the nomination and separated him from other contenders like Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden and Connecticut Sen.

Chris Dodd.

''This figure obviously separates us from the second-tier candidates and makes clear this is a four-person race,'' said Richardson spokesman Tom Reynolds.

None of the Republican candidates had released their fundraising figures yet.

Reuters MP VP0130

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