Money managers — most of them alternatives managers — are betting that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will be the next president of the United States. Or at least they are hedging their bets in case he prevails.
As the campaign heads toward the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, Mr. Obama enjoyed a comfortable lead in money manager largess during February, racking up donations of $170,370 from managers following the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday election contests, almost twice the $85,850 that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., received from managers over the same time period, according to data compiled from Federal Election Commission reports by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington election research group.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican nominee for the nation's top office, raised $111,775 from money managers during the same period, giving him a generous fundraising lead over Ms. Clinton for the month.
The February totals reflect a re-shuffling of the potential political fortunes of Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain, at least in the eyes of money managers.
“Contributors are more likely to put their money on you when you're winning, and February was an especially good month for Obama and McCain,” said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
Nonetheless, the overall rankings of the three leading candidates in terms of total donations they have received from money managers remains the same, with Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton running well ahead of Mr. McCain.
As of Feb. 29, Mr. Obama's contributions from money managers totaled $2,196,734; Ms. Clinton's, $2,046,550; Sen. McCain, $772,375.
Following Sen. Obama's Super Tuesday victories, employees and executives of some money managers focused new contributions exclusively on Mr. Obama. Among them: hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management LLC, New York, $6,100 in new contributions; hedge fund Angelo Gordon & Co., New York, $6,600; and hedge fund Maverick Capital Ltd., Dallas, $7,100.