Front-runners in the money primary

The first third of your campaign is money, money, money.

The second third is money, money, money.

The final is votes, press, and money.

Source: Rahm Emanuel

In American presidential nominating process, there are two primaries.  One is to determine who can get the most votes.  The other is to determine who can raise the most money, it is virtually impossible to campaign for votes without money.

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Hillary, Bernie and TrumpI visited the Open Secrets web site to learn how the candidates are faring in the money primary, and where their money support is coming from, which is a better indicator of where they stand than their campaign rhetoric.

Hillary Clinton is the front-runner in the money primary, having raised $222.6 million as of the end of February.  She received $48.7 million from just 20 donors, representing a range of financial institutions, labor unions and charitable foundations.

Her top contributor was Soros Fund Management, headed by the billionaire speculator George Soros, which gave her campaign $7 million.

Organizations aren’t permitted to give directly to candidates.  The Soros donation, and all the organization donations I mention in this post, are totals of donations by Political Action Committees and by officers, employees and their families.

Bernie Sanders is the runner-up.  He raised $140.2 million, of which $92.6 million came from small donations, which are defined as donations of $200 or less.

His top contributor was Alphabet Inc. (formerly known as Google).  Sanders doesn’t accept PAC money, so Alphabet’s $254,614 contribution was all from officers and employees.  His other top contributors were the University of California, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.

Ted Cruz is the front-runner among Republicans.  He raised just under $120 million.  Just three companies contributed $36.1 million of that.  His top contributor was Wilks Brothers, a fracking company, which gave $15,069,000.  Its owners are strong supporters of the religious political right.

Donald Trump hasn’t bothered much with fund-raising so far.  He received $36.7 million, which included a $24.7 million loan – a loan, not a gift – from his personal funds.  His top contributor was Manchester Financial Group, a real estate developer, which gave $50,000.

John Kasich raised $22 million, including $1 million from the Boich Companies, a coal marketing and trading business.


Here is the information in greater detail.

HIllary Clinton

HIllary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Total raised for Campaign Committee – $159,903,421
from small donors – $28,585,000 (18%)
Total raised for outside groups – $62,702,453

Largest donors
1.  Soros Fund Management – $7,039,800
2.  Laborers Union – $4,009,250
3.  Euclidean Capital – $3,502,700
4.  Pritzker Group – $2,804,343
5.  Saba Capital Group – $3,513,995
6.  Paloma Partners – $2,505,400

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Total raised for Campaign Committee – $139,810,841
from small donors –  $92,598,033 (66%)
Total raised for outside groups –  $354,498

Largest donors (employees only, not PACs)
1.  Alphabet Inc. (Google) – $254,614
2.  University of California – $139,633
3.  Microsoft Corp. – $95,296
4.  Apple Inc. – $85,576
5.  Amazon – $63,385
6.  U.S. Postal Service – $59,368

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Total raised for Campaign Committee – $66,547,756
from small donors – $27,583,448 (41%)
Total raised for outside groups – $62,702,000

Largest donors
1.  Wilks Brothers – $15,064,000
2.  Renaissance Technology – $11,000,400 [1]
3.  Quantum Energy Partners – $10,045,000
4.  Uline Inc. – $1.005,400
5.  Kinetic Concepts – $513,500
6.  Houston Texans (football team) – $500,000

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Total raised for Campaign Committee – $34,740,68
from small donors – $7,201,692 (21%)
loan from candidate – $24,666,474
Total raised for outside groups – $1,968,253

Largest donors
1.  Manchester Financial Group – $50,000
2.  AON Group – $27,700
3.  Adj Construction – $25,000
4.  MDC Holdings – $10,800
Eight companies gave $10,000 each.

John Kasich

John Kasich

John Kasich

Total raised for Campaign Committee – $12,069,000
from small donors – $2,078,000 (17%)
Total raised for outside groups – $9,994,001

Largest donors
1.  Boich Companies – $1,000,000
2.  Tiger Management – $502,000
3.  George Pearl Road Ltd. – $500,000
4.  Duquesne Family Office – $450,250
5.  Halcyon Financial Management – $300,000
6.  Sequoia Capital – $267,000

To sum up: HIllary Clinton gets money from a wide range of rich and powerful organizations; Bernie Sanders, mainly from hundreds of thousands of small donors; Ted Cruz, mainly from three corporations, the leaders of at least one of which is devoted to his version of conservative Christianity; and Donald Trump, mainly from himself.

This mirrors what they stand for.

All the information is from from the Open Secrets web site, and the information is as of Feb. 29, 2016.
Small donors are defined as those who gave $200 or less.  Organizational donations are totals of large donations from political action committees, and employees, officers or their families.

[1] Renaissance Technology, a hedge fund, also gave $2,010,950 to the Clinton campaign.

Minor revisions and updates were made 4/17/2016 and 4/18/2016.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: