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Barack Obama's money machine rolls on

April 3, 2008 |  9:11 am

The U.S. economy may be troubled, but Barack Obama's campaign treasury isn't.

Aides to the Democratic presidential candidate just announced that he garnered more than $40 million in contributions during March (and they did an excellent job of managing expectations -- initial speculation had anticipated the figure would be more like $30 million).

His March take may pale a bit compared with the $55 million the campaign hauled in during February -- easily setting a monthly record for any candidate, ever -- but we think they'll take it.

Perhaps most impressive, almost half of those who wrote checks to Obama in March were first-time contributors to him.

Here are the basics, as released by the campaign:

Total raised in March: More than $40 million
Contributors in March: More than 442,000
First-time contributors in March: More than 218,000
Average contribution: $96
Total contributors to date: More than 1,276,000

No word yet from Hillary Clinton's team. But you can bet superdelegates will be comparing the numbers when they are available.

[UPDATE: Clinton aides, perhaps understandably, did not trumpet their figures through a news release or provide the type of detail the Obama campaign did. Instead, not for attribution, high-ranking staff members said she raised roughly $20 million in March -- enough, as she said during the day, to continue waging a full-scale fight for the nomination. She had raised close to #35 million in February.]

-- Don Frederick