Bush, Clinton dominate early 2016 presidential fundraising

Updated: 2015-07-16 09:55


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Bush, Clinton dominate early 2016 presidential fundraising

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks during town hall campaign stop at the VFW Post in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Outside groups are furthering the ambitions of at least four other Republican presidential aspirants: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. In each case, the fundraising for the outside groups helping them is outpacing the fundraising for their own campaigns.

Rubio's overall take from donors - $44.7 million to his campaign and two outside groups - includes $15.8 million for a nonprofit that won't file any public budget information until at least next year and keeps its donors secret.

Wednesday's filings shed light on how candidates are doing with small donors, defined as individuals who give $200 or less. On the other side of the spectrum, the end-of-July super PAC filings will provide a snapshot of who's doing the best with the biggest donors, those writing six-figure checks or more.

Small donors are underwriting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, FEC reports show, accounting for more than three-quarters of the $13.7 million in contributions he collected. Sanders also transferred $1.5 million from his dormant Senate campaign account.

By comparison, 3 percent of Bush's campaign cash came from small donors.

Also doing well on the small-donor front is Republican retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose campaign said it built up most of its $10.4 million by tapping grassroots enthusiasm. Because the money is coming directly to Carson and Sanders, they have tighter control over how it is used.

A few major Republican candidates will be missing from the initial campaign finance reports. Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made their campaigns official too recently to file second-quarter FEC reports, although a Christie-allied super PAC said on Tuesday that it has raised $11 million. The first look at their campaign numbers will come in mid-October.

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