Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton ended September with more money in the bank than rival Barack Obama, holding $35 million cash on hand for the presidential primary contests to his $32 million.

Both were far ahead of Rudy Giuliani, the money leader on the Republican side, underscoring the financial disparity between the parties. The former New York mayor reported $11.6 million in the bank for the Republican primaries.

Clinton, who had trailed Obama in fundraising and in money in the bank at the end of June, edged past the Illinois senator with an aggressive third quarter of fundraising.

The New York senator, who also has been raising money for the general election, had a total of $50.4 million in the bank, her campaign reported. But $15 million of that cannot be used for the primaries.

She reported raising $23.7 million for the primary and had operating expenses of $21.3 million. Obama spent a nearly identical amount, but he raised $19.3 million in the quarter. They each reported debts — Clinton owed $2.3 million and Obama owed $1.4 million.

Democrat John Edwards reported $12.4 million in the bank after raising nearly $7.2 million and spending almost $8.3 million during the quarter. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, trying to establish himself among the Democratic leaders, reported $5.8 million in the bank. He raised $5.3 million in the quarter and spent $6.6 million.

Among Republicans, presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent $21 million on his campaign during the third quarter, more than twice what he raised during the period and more than what he spent in previous quarters, according to his FEC report.

John McCain, enjoying something of a resurgence in the polls after a dismal second quarter, reported more than $1.6 million cash on hand for the primaries and more than $1.7 million in debts, putting his campaign in the red. The Arizona senator has an extra $1.8 million in the bank that can only be used if he wins the Republican nomination.

McCain's financial condition may force him to accept public financing for his campaign, providing an infusion of cash but limiting how much he can spend.

Democrat John Edwards reported $12.4 million in the bank after raising nearly $7.2 million and spending almost $8.3 million during the quarter. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, trying to establish himself among the Democratic leaders, reported $5.8 million in the bank. He raised $5.3 million in the quarter and spent $6.6 million.

Among Republicans, Mitt Romney spent $21 million during the third quarter, more than twice what he raised during the period and more than what he spent in previous quarters, according to his FEC report.

John McCain, enjoying something of a resurgence in the polls after a dismal second quarter, reported more than $1.6 million cash on hand for the primaries and more than $1.7 million in debts, putting his campaign in the red. McCain has an extra $1.8 million in the bank that can only be used if he wins the Republican nomination.

McCain's financial condition may force him to accept public financing for his campaign, providing an infusion of cash but limiting how much he can spend. McCain's report detailed how his primary spending has been allocated by state, an indication that he is prepared to accept matching federal money.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist, has been tapping his personal wealth to supplement money from contributors. He raised $9.8 million and lent his campaign $8.5 million over the summer.

Giuliani reported spending $13 million during the same period, compared to the $10.2 million he raised for the primary campaign. Giuliani also raised about $1.3 million to spend on the general election if he wins the nomination.

Fred Thompson, who did not officially enter the race until early September, reported spending $5.4 million during the quarter, more than half of it last month.

Thompson, whose report covers fundraising and spending since June, when he began exploring a presidential bid, raised $12.8 million during that four month-period. The former Tennessee senator and actor on NBC's "Law & Order" TV series reported $7.1 million in the bank at the end of September, as well as $678,000 in debts.

Romney reported $9.2 million cash in hand, thanks in large part to the $17.5 million he has funneled into his campaign since the beginning of the year. He has raised $45 million since January, but leads all Republican candidates with $52.8 million in spending for the year.

In the Republican surprise of the quarter, long-shot candidate Ron Paul capitalized on his anti-war stance and Internet following to amass $5.2 million in contributions. He reported $5.4 million cash on hand at the end of September.

As a group Romney, Giuliani and Thompson enter the final stretch before the first nominating contests with money to spend on get-out-the-vote and advertising campaigns.

Among Democrats, Clinton used the third quarter to secure her place as a national front-runner. She has recently hit 50-percent support among Democrats in national polls, though the race is closer in Iowa, where she holds a small lead in a cluster with Obama and Edwards.

Giuliani is the Republican front-runner nationally, but he lags behind Romney in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa. In New Hampshire, another important early voting state, polls show the race a virtual toss-up among Giuliani, Romney and John McCain. Thompson also is competitive with the top tier in state and national polls.