WASHINGTON — One of the first things visitors to John McCain's Web site see is a plea from the Arizona senator for money to help him with his presidential bid. An identical plea greets visitors to Sen. Barack Obama's Web site. But if past is prolog, the burden is going to be on McCain to match Obama's formidable fundraising skills as the two men head into an already-historic election season.
As of the end of April, the latest date for which both campaigns' figures are available, Obama had more than double the cash on hand that McCain did, $46.5-million to McCain's $21.7-million. Figures for May are due from the Federal Election Commission later this month, though McCain's campaign said Friday that he ended the month with $31.5-million on hand.
Chances are that the presumed Democratic nominee will outgun the probable Republican nominee again during May. McCain raised a total of $90.5-million through the end of April, according to FEC data. But Obama raked in nearly triple that amount in the months he has been campaigning. Through April, the Illinois senator has taken in $265.4-million.
Obama has built his coffers without money from federal lobbyists or political action committees. On Thursday, he said the Democratic National Committee would play by the same rules.
"The Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard and won't take another dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. They do not fund my campaign. They will not fund our party," Obama said.
McCain's campaign accepts donations from lobbyists and PACs, a spokesman said Friday.
The Republican National Committee had $53.6-million in the bank as of the end of May, according to a report in Friday's New York Times. An RNC spokesperson wasn't immediately available to confirm the amount.
McCain is currently running ahead of Obama in battleground states Michigan and Virginia, while Obama is taking the lead in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to RealClearPolitics.
Obama has raised more money than McCain in all of those states, according to FEC data. The only state of those five in which McCain is close to Obama is Michigan — McCain has taken in $1.7-million to Obama's $1.9-million. Obama's name wasn't on the ballot in Michigan for the Democratic primary and he didn't campaign. Obama has topped McCain in the other states by wide margins.