President Clinton headed West on Sunday on his largest fund-raising excursion of the year, expecting to collect up to $5-million for the Democrats in their big-bucks race with Republicans.
Denver was the first stop on a three-day swing, followed by visits to Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco in his 25th journey to California as president. A series of private and public fund-raisers awaited Clinton along the way.
Clinton already has raised as much money as allowed by law for his own campaign, so this was for the Democratic Party, battling Republicans for campaign cash. Each party reported raising more than $44-million during the second quarter of 1996. The Republican National Committee retained its lead in total fund raising over the past year and a half, however, $140-million to $128-million.
Four years ago Clinton captured California and Colorado. His prospects now in California are strong, with a 27-point lead over Republican rival Bob Dole in a statewide poll published last week by the Los Angeles Times.
Ominously for Dole, the survey found that more than 25 percent of registered Republicans might vote for Clinton in California and that 34 percent of Republican women were inclined to vote for Clinton.
Colorado is a state where Richard Lamm _ a popular former Democratic governor _ could hurt Clinton's chances. Lamm is running against Ross Perot for the presidential nomination of Perot's Reform Party.
The themes for Clinton's trips will be "deadbeat dads," crime and juvenile violence.