To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. Other requirements to be declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting an extensive campaign audit.
Based on documents filed by the McCain campaign on August 10, 2007, contributions from the following states were verified for threshold purposes: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. All of the materials included with this submission may be viewed here.
McCain's spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, explains:
"We submitted what is called a state threshold submission. Under the regulations, a candidate must have received at least 5K in contributions in any 20 states to qualify for matching funds. The submission we made entitles us to no money – it simply allows us to move forward in the process. We have not yet made a final decision yet."
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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.