July 20, 2015

80% of Romney Bundlers Have Not Donated to Anyone in the Race 4 2016 Yet

  10:54 am

We’ve seen large numbers of undecided voters in the opinion polls already this campaign — but when it comes to the money people in the GOP, “undecided” appears to be an understatement. The New York Times tells us that of the approximately 1,000 bundlers (big money folks who fundraise on behalf of candidates) who backed Mitt Romney in 2012, only about 20% have donated any amount of money to any candidate this time around.

That’s a lot of money left sitting on the sidelines, and underscores how this race is developing: slowly. Voters and donors alike are hanging back, waiting and watching to see how things unfold. This is the largest field in history, and it appears that the money folks are waiting to see it winnowed a bit before committing to any candidate:

Those who remain uncommitted — hundreds of volunteer “bundlers” who could collect contributions from their friends and business associates — represent a huge pool of untapped campaign cash, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, that could remake the primary campaign.

Some of the bundlers and donors said they had held back, in part, because the field was the strongest they had seen in years, with several viable contenders representing the party’s different generational and ideological segments.

Hundreds of millions of dollars, sitting on the sidelines waiting to be donated. It makes sense – why risk an investment in a market with a 16- or 17-way split when you could wait until the best bet became a little more clear? Of course, conspiracy theorists could argue that these bundlers are waiting for the Draft Romney movement and will fill the coffers of their old candidate with hundreds of millions of dollars when he jumps in the race — but those people may need an invitation back to reality. This is not the year for White Knight candidates; in fact, it is the worst year for a white knight in recent history. This nine figure sum of money is not waiting for a worthy candidate – it is waiting to discern which of the worthy candidates is the strongest bet.

Of the 20% of bundlers who have actually donated money to campaigns, the leader so far is, perhaps surprisingly, Jeb Bush. The approximate percentage of Romney bundlers who are backing various candidates this time around:

  • Bush – 12%
  • Rubio – 5%
  • Cruz – 1%
  • Graham – 1%
  • Fiorina – 1%
  • Everyone else – less than 1%

Of course, we need to add “Undecided – 80%” to the bottom of that list. If and when that money starts pouring in, we could potentially see a whole new race take shape.

July 17, 2015

Small Donors, Maxed Donors Show Breadth of Candidate Support

  12:00 pm

So we’ve seen the official fundraising totals in the thread below. Digging a little deeper in the FEC filings and looking at itemized vs. unitemized donations, we can paint a better picture of just how wide support is for each candidate.

The FEC makes a distinction between individuals contributing less than $200 and those donating more than that amount. This distinction is important both because it can display the breadth of support a candidate has and because it reveals the potential of each candidate to continue raising money in the future (remember, individuals can only donate up to $2700 to each presidential campaign; donors who gave $100 this quarter can give more later while a donor who gave $2700 this quarter is done for the rest of the campaign).

With that in mind, here are the percentages of each candidate’s fundraising haul that came from small donors (less than $200):

  1. Carson – 80.2%
  2. Paul – 64.7%
  3. Cruz – 47.0%
  4. Fiorina – 45.3%
  5. Trump – 40.7%
  6. Huckabee – 29.6%
  7. Rubio – 27.6%
  8. Santorum – 23.4%
  9. Clinton – 19.0%
  10. Jindal – 10.3%
  11. Perry – 8.4%
  12. Graham – 8.2%
  13. Pataki – 7.3%
  14. Bush – 3.3%

On the flip side, here are the percentages of each candidate’s donors who are already maxed out and cannot give any more this campaign:

  1. Carson – 2.9%
  2. Paul – 13.5%
  3. Cruz – 16.5%
  4. Fiorina – 24.4%
  5. Huckabee – 28.2%
  6. Rubio – 31.3%
  7. Graham – 31.4%
  8. Trump – 33.6%
  9. Santorum – 46.7%
  10. Clinton – 62.9%
  11. Pataki – 69.7%
  12. Perry – 71.2%
  13. Bush – 81.0%
  14. Jindal – 82.6%

A couple thoughts: Jindal, Perry, and Pataki are clearly not in a good position moving forward. Combined with their low poll numbers, their low percentage of small donors and high percentage of maxed out donors are more or less a death knell for their nascent campaigns. Perhaps surprisingly, Jeb Bush is not in a strong position after raising $11.4 million last quarter. With the tiniest percentage of small donors — just 3% — and one of the highest percentage of maxed out donors, he will have to significantly expand his donor base if he wants to continue raising at that clip.

On the other hand, Carson, Paul, and Cruz all have good potential moving forward. All three have decent fundraising and poll numbers already; to go with that, they have grassroots support and significant room for growth among their donors.

Finally, Hillary’s numbers don’t look incredibly strong. Just 19% of her fundraising came from small donors, and two thirds of her donors are already maxed out. She remains, of course, the inevitable Democratic nominee, and so will pick up funding from all the usual Democratic donors moving forward, but these numbers do display the lack of enthusiasm on the left many are feeling toward her coronation.

Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard — Final and Official Edition

  10:00 am

Plenty of numbers here for everyone to sift through:

2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard
Rank Candidate Raised For Primaries (Q2) Other Revenue Cash on Hand Debt Super PAC $
1 Rubio $12.18 million $3.30 million1 $9.86 million $0 $32 million
2 Bush $11.43 million $8.35 million $0.40 million $104 million
3 Cruz $10.04 million $8.53 million $0.62 million $37 million
4 Carson $8.47 million $4.75 million $0 $20 million
5 Paul $6.93 million $1.59 million1 $4.16 million $0.72 million
6 Graham $3.71 million $1.53 million1 $2.58 million $0
7 Huckabee $2.00 million $0.89 million $0.01 million $6 million
8 Fiorina $1.70 million $0.99 million $0 $3.4 million
9 Perry $1.14 million $0.88 million $0 $16.8 million
10 Santorum $0.61 million $0.05 million2 $0.23 million $0.12 million
11 Jindal $0.58 million $0.51 million $0 $8.7 million
12 Pataki $0.26 million $0.21 million $0
13 Trump $0.09 million $1.80 million3 $0.49 million $1.80 million
Christie4 $11.0 million
Walker4 $30 million
Kasich4 $11.5 million

1Transfer of individual contributions from candidate’s Congressional fund
2Revenue from mailing list rental
3Personal loan from the candidate to their campaign
4Candidate not required to file an FEC report

July 14, 2015

Fundraising Numbers Roll In: Rubio Tops, Perry Disappoints, Jeb King of Super PACs

  9:28 am

As these numbers get reported and publicized, keep in mind that these are unofficial totals. The actual paperwork must be filed with the FEC by tomorrow, at which time we will get a glimpse of the official totals and be able to fill in our leaderboard completely. Until then, this unofficial board is quite telling. Also keep in mind that supposedly candidates cannot legally have any coordination with Super PACs once they are declared candidates. Theoretically, the Super PACs operate as completely distinct and separate entities, detached from the candidates and their campaigns. Since this is the first election cycle where Super PACs will play such a prominent role, it remains to be seen exactly how those vague campaign finance laws will actually play out in real life.

Some notes: Rick Perry is struggling during his second run at being a presidential candidate, raising just over a million dollars — less than Carly Fiorina. Making the debate stage is going to be absolutely critical for both of them; it is difficult to see how Perry or Fiorina continue on with dismal fundraising numbers if they are combined with no national exposure.

At the top of the pack, Marco Rubio has proven his status as a top tier candidate by pulling in the most direct campaign money so far. Jeb Bush almost matched Rubio’s total — and in much less time — putting the two neck and neck at the top. Governor Bush, of course, spent most of Q2 fundraising for his Super PAC before he announced his candidacy – a move which paid of in record setting numbers.

An oddity with the Rand Paul numbers: his campaign is simultaneously raising money for Paul’s presidential bid and Senate bid. The number the campaign released — $7 million — is the total for both contests, and Paul is refusing to say how much is for each. For now, he sits on the board at $7 million, but that number will go down tomorrow when we find out how much he actually raised.

Finally, I find it telling that candidates like Huckabee, Santorum, Graham, and Pataki haven’t announced their fundraising totals yet. Usually, that indicates disappointing numbers that are difficult to spin.

To the board…!

2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard
Rank Candidate Raised For Primaries (Q2) Other Revenue Cash on Hand Debt Total Raised, All Quarters Super PAC $
1 Rubio  $12.1 million  $3.3 million1 $9.72 million $12.1 million $32 million
2 Bush  $11.4 million $11.4 million  $104 million
3 Cruz $10.0 million $14.3 million $37 million
4 Carson $8.3 million $10.5 million $20 million
5 Paul $7.0 million2 $7.0 million
6 Fiorina $1.4 million $1.4 million $3.4 million
7 Perry  $1.07 million $1.07 million $16.8 million
Walker $30 million
Kasich $11 million

1Transfer from candidate’s Congressional fund
2Total includes funds raised by joint committee; some of the total is for a Senate campaign.

July 7, 2015

Fiorina Reports a Disappointing $1.4 Million for Q2

  8:00 am

This will take the air out of the sails a bit for the upstart Fiorina campaign: they raised just $1.4 million in the second quarter. True, she had a shortened quarter since she launched in May, but the first quarter after launching is usually the easiest to raise money in for candidates. (And, Cruz raised over $4 million in just a week in Q1.) Carly’s Super PAC didn’t fare much better, bringing in just $3.4 million. To quote the National Journal:

The latest fundraising figures mean Fiorina’s campaign has little flexibility or money to hit the airwaves to bolster her standing. Fiorina never was expected to be among the top GOP fundraisers, but $1.4 million is below expectations.

Fiorina has been phenomenal on the stump and in interviews, but that has not translated into solid support in the polls or in fundraising yet — and with this punch to the gut, it’s rather difficult to see how she can claw her way into serious contention for the candidacy now.

2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard
Rank Candidate Raised For Primaries (Q2) Other Revenue Cash on Hand Debt Total Raised, All Quarters Super PAC $
1 Cruz $10.0 million $14.3 million $37 million
2 Carson $8.3 million $10.5 million $20 million
3 Fiorina $1.4 million $1.4 million $3.4 million
Walker $30 million

July 6, 2015

Ted Cruz Raises $10.0 Million in Q2

  8:30 am

Ted Cruz’s campaign is reporting a solid entry of $10.0 million raised during the second quarter. Combined with the $4.3 million he raised in Q1, this brings Cruz’s fundraising total to $14.3 million so far. Again, as way of comparison, Mitt Romney raised $18.4 million in Q2’11, and every other candidates raised $4.5 million or less.

We’ve expanded the Fundraising Leaderboard below to include a column for Super PAC donations now, which will play a larger role during the 2016 campaign than ever before — but remember, the candidates cannot officially coordinate with Super PACs. They (supposedly) exist and act entirely independent of the campaigns themselves.

The FEC filing deadline for Q2 campaign finances is July 15, and as always, we will update the table below as more numbers come in.

2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard
Rank Candidate Raised For Primaries (Q2) Other Revenue Cash on Hand Debt Total Raised, All Quarters Super PAC $
1 Cruz $10.0 million $14.3 million $37 million
2 Carson $8.3 million $10.5 million $20 million
Walker $30 million

July 2, 2015

Carson Raises $8.3 Million in Q2

  9:19 am

The Carson campaign says they raised a total of $8.3 million in the second quarter from donations that averaged $50 per person.

That total is a highly impressive number for a second tier candidate who is not a well known political figure, and speaks to Carson’s grassroots appeal in this primary campaign. For comparison sake, $8.3 million is well over the total of every candidate not named Mitt Romney in Q2’11. Back then, Ron Paul had raised $4 million, Pawlenty brought in $3.7 million, and Gingrich ended the quarter with a $2.1 million haul. Romney landed $18.4 million.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says she will report $45 million in donations for the second quarter, in a Democratic primary that has little to no real competition. That total sets a record for non-incumbent fundraising, but falls short of both George W Bush and Obama’s totals while they were running for re-election.

FEC fundraising reports must be filed by July 15. As more campaign numbers become known, we will break out a beloved feature and update the Race Fundraising Leaderboard so you can keep tabs on how the campaigns are faring.

2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard
Rank Candidate Raised For Primaries Other Revenue Cash on Hand Debt
1 Carson $8.3 million
15 Walker
16 Kasich

June 29, 2015

Phil Rosen Endorses Marco Rubio

  3:52 pm

Breaking news from the invisible primary: Phil Rosen, billionaire activist and fundraising bundler, has chosen to endorse Senator Marco Rubio in the 2016 primary. Rosen will not only raise millions of dollars for the Rubio campaign, he will also serve as a foreign policy advisor.

The Washington Post calls this “a big get” for Rubio. Why is Rosen so important? I’ll let the Jewish Journal newspaper spell it out for you:

Rosen, one of Mitt Romney’s top bundlers in 2012, was highly sought after … Rosen’s endorsement is significant for a few reasons.

1. Fundraising. Rosen is one of the leading bundlers in presidential politics…

2. Sheldon Adelson. Rosen is close with Sheldon Adelson, with whom he serves on the boards of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and Birthright Israel. Adelson is already rumored to be favoring Rubio and … adding Rosen can only help Rubio close the deal.

3. Walker v. Rubio Bellwether. Rosen, who is very well connected in New York City fundraising circles, is believed to have deliberated between Walker and Rubio for a while… As the Washington Post reported last week, Walker has struggled to make inroads among NYC donors, and Rosen perhaps serves as a bellwether for others deciding between Walker and Rubio.

Here’s the bottom line: all the candidates wanted Rosen. Early on, the article notes, he even donated to Ted Cruz’s campaign before jumping off that ship. In the end, it came down to Walker and Rubio, and Rubio won out. Now Senator Rubio gets “one of the leading bundlers in presidential politics” along with a strong advisor on foreign policy — and a huge chip to lay on the table when attempting to win the support of other bundlers and money men. If any of the anti-Bush candidates are going to defeat Jeb in the primary this year, they’re going to need two things: a lot of money, and for people to believe they can actually win. Rosen brings both to Rubio’s campaign.

April 15, 2015

Prominent Jewish Republicans Host Fundraiser for U.S. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson

  5:00 pm

 photo Ian Reisner_zpsbk4tw1za.jpg

Manhattan real-estate developer and hotelier Ian Reisner recently hosted a private fundraiser for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R – Wisconsin), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Holocaust survivor Sam Domb and former Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman were among the leading Jewish Republicans and other conservatives who supported this effort.

Senator Johnson, who has begun campaigning for re-election in 2016, acknowledged the business leaders in the audience. He wondered, “Would any of you ask President Obama to negotiate on your behalf?” After the laughter subsided, Johnson listed his numerous concerns with Obama’s pending nuclear-weapons agreement with Iran’s dictatorship. Johnson also specified several amendments that he plans to introduce to assure that the U.S. Senate reviews and votes on this deal.

Those gathered at Reisner’s Central Park South penthouse included a bipartisan group of Jewish business leaders — both committed Republicans and several traditionally aligned with Democrats.

“As CEO of Major Automotive Companies, Inc.,” said Bruce Bendell, a longtime Democrat-leaning donor, “I respect Senator Johnson’s history as a business leader and now as someone who is dedicated to undoing the economic damage of the Obama years and restoring dynamic growth to our society.”

The participation of Bendell; American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) founding trustee Jonathan S. Canno; and entrepreneur Tzvi Odzer, among others, reflects growing Jewish support for Republicans. This parallels the widening rift between Jews and Democrats in light of Obama’s abundant disrespect for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the White House’s worrisome overtures to the ayatollahs.

“I saw up close the death and devastation of radical Islam at Ground Zero on the evening of September 11, 2001,” Ian Reisner recalled. “I don’t want to see New Yorkers once again incinerated by Islamic extremists from the Middle East.”

As the reception concluded, Kalman Sporn, Vice Chairman of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference, presented Senator Johnson with a rare coin excavated at Masada, site of the Israelites’ brave stand against their Roman oppressors in the year 73 A.D. Sporn brought Reisner on his first trip to Israel in 2000, where they visited a military base and met Benjamin Netanyahu. Ian Reisner strongly has supported Jewish causes ever since, including Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National Jewish Outreach Program.

December 3, 2012

Potential 2016 Candidates Already Courting Donors

  6:53 pm

Politico has the story:

A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions.
Planning a presidential campaign used to mean having coffee with county party chairs in their Iowa or New Hampshire living rooms. The courting of Adelson, a full four years out from 2016, demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.

And prospective candidates from both parties are wasting little time schmoozing potential super PAC funders.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is meeting with big donors in Los Angeles this week and has a fundraiser scheduled for next Monday in the Washington suburbs. Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) have been meeting with big donors, leaving the impression that they’re ready to run.

Full story here.

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