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Countdown to March 31

Tomorrow's the 1st quarter deadline, and we're not 100% sure we're going to get leaked estimates quickly. There are too many events happening, which could delay the counting by a few days. We shall see. In talks with the campaigns, none of them wants to release their numbers first, but all have acknowledged that once one major campaign cracks, they all will follow. (We're doing our best to get the campaigns to crack!)

The New York Times curtain-raises tomorrow's deadline. "This hurricane of money-raising is testimony to the importance of what has become the first contest of the 2008 presidential race: the first fund-raising period of the campaign, which ends at midnight Saturday. To a large extent, the candidates are responding to a changing political dynamic that has made running for president more expensive than ever and in a year when major candidates are declining public campaign financing."

Another interesting nugget in the piece is that the 2nd quarter fundraising is starting immediately for Obama, who is inviting major donors for a retreat on April 11.