Campaign cash reports show candidate momentum

Campaign 2016
by Kent Covington & Nick Eicher
Posted 10/21/15, 01:45 pm

The staff of The World and Everything in It has profiled 22 possible 2016 presidential candidates in its “White House Wednesday” series. Now they take a look at who’s ahead and who’s making moves as the primaries get closer.

Third-quarter fundraising numbers are in for all the 2016 candidates, and they tell a lot about the momentum of each campaign.

The top fundraisers for the third quarter are both Democrats, which is not a surprise given the crowded nature of the GOP field. In many cases, fundraising says something about how motivated a candidate’s supporters are. The exception is Donald Trump, who isn’t soliciting donations because he has all the money he could ever need. 

Among Republicans, Ben Carson tops the list, mirroring his rise in the polls over the past couple of months. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had the second biggest haul for the quarter at $13.4 million, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at $12.2 million and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., with $5.7 million. Before the numbers were released, many speculated Rubio’s fundraising was up, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. 

As Rubio’s own campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, recently pointed out, candidates don’t drop out for lack of desire or ideas. They drop out because they run out of money. Still, Rubio is in no danger of going broke. In terms of cash on hand right now, Rubio’s effectively tied with Carson among Republicans, with $11 million in the war chest.

Bush’s campaign has been in a slump lately, and big money GOP donors are watching him very closely. The establishment mantle is clearly the only path to a nomination for Bush. He’s not going to excite the grassroots base of the party. And the same is true to a lesser extent of Rubio. Trump, Carson, and Cruz have the inside track on grassroots support. So Bush and Rubio will be battling to be the establishment candidate in this election.

Listen to “White House Wednesday” on The World and Everything in It.

Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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