Two fundraising quarters, the same story. The political world expects Hillary Clinton to raise more money than Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton's advisers downplay expectations. Obama's advisers say nothing. Barack Obama outraises Hillary Clinton. The political world justifably rewards Obama for toppling the collosus.

This quarter: Hillary Clinton's team is downplaying expectations, suggesting to an ABC News reporter that she'll raise between $17M and $20M for the primary. (She'll also wind up raising between $3M and $5M for the general election).

Barack Obama's campaign is mum, although they deride the Clinton's expectations setting.

Here's a guess, based on the two previous cycles of expectations setting: Obama may outraise Clinton again. Or the two candidates will raise roughly the same amount.

At this point, the fundraising race is about stamina and spending. Both Clinton and Obama will have more than enough money to compete through Feb. 5.

And note: whoever wins the nomination, a merger of the Clinton-Obama fundraising organizations will give the Democrats an enormous advantage over the Republican nominee.

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