Politics & Government

Obama leads fundraising with fewer big donors

Democrat Barack Obama has outraised Republican John McCain in Florida by $339,000 — and he's done it with half as many big-money ''bundlers'' kicking in at least $50,000.

Obama's edge comes from his unprecedented success at tapping a slew of small donors, as well as the erosion of the vaunted political machine that fueled the campaigns of President Bush and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Dubbed ''Pioneers'' by the president and updated to ''Trailblazers'' by McCain, bundlers collect checks from clients, relatives and friends to get around the $4,600 limit each can give to a campaign in an election cycle. The practice is legal, though campaign watchdogs argue that it defeats the purpose of laws aimed at limiting a donor's influence.

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