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Eye On Candidates
July 10, 2015

Jeb Bush Trounces Rivals In Fundraising

The polls generally show a competitive contest in the Republican race for the 2016 presidential nomination, but the fundraising totals released to date suggest former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is outpacing the field in the area of fundraising. The Washington Post reports on his record-smashing haul (including the SuperPAC backing him):

Jeb Bush and allied super PAC raise an unprecedented $114 million war chest

Supporters of former Florida governor Jeb Bush have donated more than $114 million to bolster his presidential bid since the beginning of the year, giving the GOP contender an unprecedented campaign treasury as he heads into the highly competitive 2016 primary contest.

The bulk of the money was raised by his allied super PAC, Right to Rise USA, which announced Thursday that it brought in more than $103 million between January and June. Separately, the Bush campaign said it raised $11.4 million in the second quarter...

Bush’s financial firepower is unlike that of any previous candidate, both in size and form. The combined total raised by his campaign and super PAC is more than double the $50.1 million that his brother, then-President George W. Bush, collected in the fall of 2003. That is the largest amount that a White House candidate has raised in a quarter during a year before an election, according to the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute...

Other candidates and SuperPACs have begun to release their fundraising totals for the second quarter of 2015 as well (reports must be filed with the Federal Election Commission by July 15), and show Texas Senator Ted Cruz with a large haul as well ($51 million including SuperPACs supporting his bid), and expectations are that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will place a solid third with $32 million for two SuperPACs backing him plus whatever the campaign has raised directly. The SuperPAC currently headed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, expected to announce next week he is running for President, will likely report raising around $20 million according to Politico.

The same Politico article observes:

Both figures underscored Bush’s prowess on the fundraising front — in two weeks, his campaign raised more than some of his rivals have over several months, and the super PAC’s haul is unprecedented in American politics. All told, Bush has been raising an average of more than $640,000 a day for the last six months...

Mark Hanna, a coal and iron magnate who spearheaded William McKinley's political ambitions and is credited by many with creating the modern presidential campaign, once said "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can't remember the second." While probably overstating the importance of money and understating the importance of a good candidate with an appealing message, there's no doubt Hanna's observation carries more than a little truth. On this score, Bush appears to be well ahead of his rivals.