Candidate raises $4 mil to Clinton's $3 mil

Barack Obama has pulled way ahead of Hillary Clinton in money raised from the entertainment business — and could very well finish the nomination battle as the victor when it comes to Hollywood dollars.

The latest figures from the Center for Responsive Politics show that Obama collected $4,022,006 from movie, TV and music sources through the end of April, compared with $3,413,024 for Clinton.

That may not seem like such a surprise given that many consider Obama the likely nominee.

But Obama and Clinton have been battling for entertainment industry donors throughout the campaign cycle, raising almost equal amounts. At the end of February, for instance, less than $300 separated the candidates in show business fund-raising.

CRP spokesman Massie Ritsch wrote on the org’s website that Obama has become the “industry’s clear favorite.”

Many thought that Clinton would naturally take that role given her — and her husband’s — longtime ties to the entertainment business. Obama was the first out of the gate in February 2007 in a fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton that was co-hosted by David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.

Clinton’s numbers could increase a bit this month: She held a fund-raiser at the Century Plaza Hotel on May 15, with tickets starting at $150 per person. Michelle Obama, meanwhile, is scheduled to attend a fund-raiser tonight at the home of Dawn Ostroff.

Overall, the entertainment industry has contributed $9.5 million to presidential candidates this cycle, with about 83% of it going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

John McCain has raised far less from Hollywood — $636,046. But he will undoubtedly add to that total today when he attends a fund-raiser at the Los Angeles home of Elliott Broidy, chairman of the Markston Capital private equity firm. The event will raise money for his campaign and the Republican party.

The CRP’s figures could change a little bit as additional contributions are counted, and the org’s numbers don’t always include spouses or industry-related professionals such as attorneys. But short of a scientific poll, it is the only measurement of a candidate’s industry strength.

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