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Show Me the Money: A look at the GOP presidential fundraising numbers

MoneyBy Bob Eschliman
Editor

 

With the third fundraising deadline of the Republican presidential primary season looming at midnight tonight, campaigns are beating the bushes — in several cases very hard — in a last-ditch effort to post solid numbers in their reports to the Federal Election Commission tonight.

Fundraising “numbers” are important, because they are a vital sign of the overall health of a candidate’s campaign, and sign of long-term staying power. They show how much money the campaign raised during the past three months, as well as how much the campaigns have spent.

The October numbers are going to be important, because they will offer the first official “apples to apples comparison” of all the campaigns in the field together. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the last candidate to officially file his statement of candidacy with the FEC on July 1, and as such avoided the required fundraising report that same day.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich officially joined the race July 23 and also did not file a July fundraising report. For most of the rest of the campaigns, the July report was a cursory report and could be played off as “incomplete.” They won’t have that excuse when the October reports become public.

The numbers most observers will be looking at are:

  • the quarterly fundraising total,
  • the July 1 beginning cash on hand,
  • the quarterly expenditures total, and
  • the September 30 ending cash on hand

Those numbers will, in turn, tell them a lot about each campaign. Did its financial situation improve or get worse? Was it being frugal, or did it spend too recklessly? Does it have enough money to get through the next 90 days? Does the campaign have to scale back to survive?

Of course, none of this matters for one campaign. Donald Trump is self-funding his campaign, a misnomer that means he’s not actively asking donors to make contributions. He’s still getting contributions, but the overwhelming majority of the money being spent originally came from his personal wealth.

The following charts show where the campaigns stood coming into the reporting quarter that ends tonight. They provide a baseline for the numbers we will see reported soon.

 

Rank by Second-Quarter Fundraising

  1. Jeb Bush $11,429,897
  2. Ted Cruz $10,043,380
  3. Marco Rubio $8,876,868
  4. Ben Carson $8,469,048
  5. Rand Paul $6,932,779
  6. Lindsey Graham $3,709,552
  7. Mike Huckabee $2,004,462
  8. Donald Trump $1,902,410 *
  9. Carly Fiorina $1,704,703
  10. Bobby Jindal $578,758
  11. George Pataki $255,794
  12. Rick Santorum $17,056
  13. Chris Christie           No Report
  14. John Kasich              No Report

* – $1.8 million in personal contributions to the campaign

 

Rank by Total Fundraising

  1. Ted Cruz $14,349,160
  2. Jeb Bush $11,429,897
  3. Ben Carson $10,642,241
  4. Marco Rubio $9,794,814
  5. Rand Paul $6,932,779
  6. Lindsey Graham $3,709,552
  7. Mike Huckabee $2,004,462
  8. Donald Trump $1,902,410 *
  9. Carly Fiorina $1,704,703
  10. Bobby Jindal $578,758
  11. George Pataki $255,794
  12. Rick Santorum $54,606
  13. Chris Christie           No Report
  14. John Kasich              No Report

* – $1.8 million in personal contributions to the campaign

 

Rank by July 1 Cash on Hand

  1. Marco Rubio $9,859,065
  2. Ted Cruz $8,527,595
  3. Jeb Bush $8,351,810
  4. Ben Carson $4,745,312
  5. Rand Paul $4,161,515
  6. Lindsey Graham $2,582,819
  7. Carly Fiorina $990,658
  8. Mike Huckabee $885,471
  9. Bobby Jindal $513,714
  10. Donald Trump $487,736 *
  11. George Pataki $207,620
  12. Rick Santorum $10,449
  13. Chris Christie           No Report
  14. John Kasich              No Report

* – self-funding candidate