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Barack Obama Scores Big in Third-Quarter Money Hunt

Democrat Barack Obama appears to be the big winner so far this third quarter, meeting expectations and raking in an impressive $19 million for the presidential primary elections from July through September, his campaign said Monday.

That raises his total take for the year to nearly $80 million.

The summer total includes donations from 93,000 new contributors, aides said. Obama also raised money for the general election, making his overall contributions more than $20 million for the quarter.

The third-quarter contributions were less than Obama raised in each of the first two quarters, but is very good for the slow summer months. The total keeps him near the top of the fundraising pack. His closest fundraising rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, had not released her totals Monday, though her campaign tried to downplay expectations last week, positioning her third quarter as less successful than his.

Overall, the Obama campaign has received contributions from 352,000 donors so far this year. Contributors are limited to a maximum of $2,300 each.

The campaign did not say how much money it had in the bank, an important figure as the presidential contest heads into one of the heaviest spending periods of the season. Obama has been spending heavily, especially in Iowa, where the first presidential caucus is scheduled for January.

Obama, like other major candidates, has also been raising money for the general election, but the bulk of his contributions are for the primaries. Since the beginning of the year, he has received nearly $75 million for the primaries and about $4 million for the general election.

Also on the Democratic side, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is reporting $7 million raised in the last quarter for a total of $30 million for the year. That's half what he raised in the first quarter of the year, though he still has $12 million on hand. Edwards has said the funding puts him on track to meet his goal of $40 million by the time the first presidential contests begin in January, but he's also been talking about going to public financing, which would limit his spending to $50 million for the primary season.

Bill Richardson's presidential campaign was the first to reveal its third quarter numbers — more than $5 million during the last three months. That brings the total for the New Mexico governor for the year to more than $18 million.

"We continue to count contributions as they come in throughout the day, but this figure obviously separates us from the second-tier candidates and makes clear this is a four-person race," Richardson spokesman Tom Reynolds said Sunday.

Also in the Democratic field, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware is expected to show nearly $2 million in new third-quarter contributions, $6.4 million for the year; and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut raised $1.5 million in the quarter and will show $4 million in the bank, his campaign said.

FOX News has learned that Republican Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator, is also expected to report having raised in excess of $8 million dollars in this quarter of the fiscal year. That's in addition to $3.5 million he raised in June.

According to Thompson aides, the campaign raised $200,000 a day since "announcing" his candidacy after Labor Day. Thompson had more than 70,000 donors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.