Republicans Still Not Raising Hard Money

Once the GOP gets over its collective freakout about the impending nomination of Donald Trump, they might want to look at their inability to raise hard campaign money. When looking at fundraising in the odd year before the primaries (since 1999), and adjusting for inflation, the Republican candidates this year have come nowhere near what successful presidential campaigns have raised.


Dr. Ben Carson has raised the most, clocking in at around a third what George W. Bush collected in 2003 for his re-election. 20 candidates raised more money than Marco Rubio, the “establishment” choice at the moment. Rubio has collected less than Ron Paul and John Edwards in 2007, Bill Bradley in 1999, and Rudy Giuliani in 2007, other candidates who failed to win a primary or caucus (and who didn’t have the shamelessness to declare “victory” after finishing 3rd in Iowa). Donald Trump is cruising to victory despite raising less than 28 other candidates, a small illustration at how awful the GOP “deep bench” is.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have raised money like successful presidential campaigns. Hillary Clinton, despite taking in about $15 million less than she did in 2007, has raised a similar amount as Barack Obama did in his inaugural run and more than George W. Bush did in his. Bernie Sanders has raised 40% more than Ben Carson and 160% more than Rubio.

Lots of cash has gone to Super PACs and they have little, if anything, to show for it. When the Republicans do another “autopsy” in 2017, besides ending the racist nativism, they might want to look at closing the loopholes opened up by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and figure out how to raise hard money again.