What FEC filings show about 2016 candidates
Candidates for president offered the first detailed look at their campaign finances yesterday, the deadline for filing second quarter reports to the Federal Election Commission. While Hillary Clinton is running away with the money race for Democrats, the competition for cash is much tighter on the Republican side.
Former Secretary of State Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, raised $47 million, more than triple the $15.3 million raised by her closest competitor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Seventeen percent of her donations came from small donors giving less than $200. The grassroots-powered Sanders campaign raised 69 percent of its money from small donors, the highest fraction among all major presidential candidates.
Ivy League universities were among the biggest sources of cash for the Clinton campaign. Employees of Yale University gave $72,000, more than from traditionally high-giving corporations like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Google, while Harvard University employees gave $37,000.
The money race is much closer on the Republican side, where 12 candidates have raised over $500,000. Three of them — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson — have raised more than $10 million.
Bush raised just 3 percent of his money from small donors. Of the nearly 4,800 donors listed in his campaign finance filing, 3,500 gave $2,700, the maximum allowable contribution to an election.
Still unknown are the full details of presidential super PACs that will file at the end of the month. The groups — which can raise unlimited sums but cannot coordinate with a candidate, must disclose their donors. They will likely take on more importance in this election cycle as more and more traditional campaign functions are relegated to them.
Right to Rise, the Bush-affiliated super PAC, announced that it had taken in more than $100 million already, more than six times what Bush’s official campaign committee raised.
Clinton spent the most of any other candidate, $18.7 million compared to the next-highest $5.4 million spent by Cruz. The campaign spent $300,000 on thirteen23, an Austin-based digital design company that helped develop Obama For America’s mobile canvassing app. And $276,000 went to Correct the Record, the rapid-response group organized by Clinton aide David Brock as a super PAC.
Candidates also released their mandatory bundling disclosures, showing that Democrats and Republicans alike are earning considerable sums. Though candidates only have to disclose bundlers that are registered lobbyists, both Bush and Clinton have pledged to release a list of all their bundlers. Lobbyist bundlers for Bush helped raise $228,000, while the 40 lobbyists bundling for Clinton raised more than $2 million.