The Chicago Tribune ran an article this morning pointing out that Sen. Barack Obama had raised close to 25 million in the first quarter of 2007. This puts him right behind Sen. Clinton and in front of Sen. John Edwards. Another interesting thing about those figures is that Obama is reporting that he has received over 6 million dollars from online donations. Sen. Clinton reported raising her money from about 50,000 donors while Sen. Obama reported raising his money from over 100,000 individuals. Obama reported having 50,000 contributors give him money online.
The problem for Clinton is that there are usually only four story lines that reporters used when covering the "horse race" aspect of campaigns. Those lines are who's in front, who's behind, who's coming up and who's going down. All of these story lines are used to spur reader and viewer interest in the "horse race" between the candidates. The media hates a campaign that doesn't have a "horse race". This means that Obama's figures will be used by the media in story lines about how Clinton's nomination is not a "sure" thing and about how the campaign will be much more difficult than she first thought. This will, in turn, lead to more donations coming in to Obama.
There is also a problem for Obama, although it is one that he won't mind having. That problem is now the media will increase its scrutiny of his candidacy. The media goes through the following cycles with "new" faces. First they ignore them, then they fall in love with them, and then they have buyer's remorse. Obama is long past the ignoring stage. Some reporters are still falling in love with him, but others will now start going through the buyer's remorse stage. That means that he is likely to have more negative stories coming out in the future.
Of course, given the 24 hour news cycle, the growth of the Internet, the rise of blogs, and the need to keep the news monster fed, all of the above stages take place so much faster now than they did in 2000 or even 2004.