Rolling in the DOUGH!

Well the big news on the Campaign Trail today: Barack Obama’s big cash haul of $40 million for March – that included an impressive 218,000 “first time” contributors. Sen. Clinton released her March tally today too – raising roughly $20 million. McCain’s campaign has yet to release their figures, but sources suggest it’s likely to be along the lines of Clinton’s total – or about half of Obama’s figure.

But there is a great, untold story here that no one is paying attention: the parallel presidential campaign taken place on the Internet – and amounting to a virtual ATM machine that’s churning out cold, hard cash!

While many younger voters are getting their issues and political fixes on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace, all three Presidential Candidates – Obama, Clinton and McCain – are raising the BULK of their money from online contributions!

The Obama campaign freely acknowledges the importance of their web-based strategy and noted to FOX News that they held “very few” fundraisers in March and that their average donation was less than $100.

And while the Clinton Campaign only matched half of Obama’s bank for March, Clinton Spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a conference call today that they did have a “million dollar day” on the web at the end of the month.

Perhaps what is MOST interesting about this story to me is that it wasn’t Howard Dean’s notorious online fundraising in 2004 that started it all (although Obama and Clinton both have benefited greatly from the Dean lessson), but rather John McCain’s campaign in the 2000 primaries that “pioneered” the opportunities of using the Internet. In particular, longtime McCain staffers Max Fose and Becky Donatelli (both advisors today as well) are frequently credited with trailblazing the idea of “eCampaigning.”

So if you’re following this presidential race – and you want to know the latest and greatest on the Trail – you better get on the digital side of these campaigns… because that’s where the REAL action is taking place!