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"Money matters, but it doesn't decide"

AP reports: Money helped winnow the presidential field. It hasn't determined who each party's nominee will be.

Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have proven to be mega-fundraisers, operating at near parity in their own stratosphere. Each raised $100 million last year and spent at least $80 million. On Wednesday, they each spent $1.3 million in one day for television ads in Super Tuesday states, setting the trend for the days ahead.

Whoever loses has not yet been seriously outspent.

Among Republicans, money has been less of a factor. John McCain was forced to live off the land for six months only to rise to the front of the pack. Low-budget Mike Huckabee is looking for a break, and Mitt Romney, the multimillionaire who spent $35 million of his own cash, is gasping for oxygen after two straight losses.

Rudy Giuliani, who garnered the most contributions among Republican candidates, bowed out this week after his Florida-centric strategy collapsed. And dark horse Ron Paul remains in single digits in the polls despite raising more than any of his Republican rivals in the last three months of 2007.

Money matters, but it doesn't decide. -- Analysis: Political Money Not the Be - All - New York Times

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