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Presidential Candidates Mine Texas for Dollars

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Dallas, TX – DALLAS, TX- Republican Presidential Candidate Rudolph Guiliani touched down in Dallas Friday. His campaign visit follows another this week by likely GOP Candidate Fred Thompson. Every major presidential contender on both sides of the aisle have campaigned in Texas at least once this season.

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson says the visits are less about attracting Texas privamry votes and more about raising money since more than half of the presidential delegates will be chosen before the March 4 Texas primary.

Texas ranks among the top three states for political fundraising. In addition to the in-person events that yield several hundred thousand dollars each, candidates are increasingly mining for smaller contributions.

A lot of that fundraising relies on the Internet, said Jillson.

He said the Internet allows smaller donors to contribute $20-$50 dollars without being embarassed or pressured to write bigger checks. Once they've given money they are more likely to vote, he said.

Jillson said Democratic Candidate Barak Obama has probably been the most successful among Presidential contenders at attracting smaller, Internet donations.