GOP primaries

Carson brings in $23 million in fourth quarter

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Ben Carson raised $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, his campaign said Thursday.

The figure surpasses the $20 million Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised this quarter and is likely to be the largest haul of any Republican presidential contender so far this cycle.

Carson’s campaign did not say how much it spent this quarter or indicate how much cash it has on hand.

{mosads}The campaign’s treasurer told The Hill earlier this month that they may have blown through half of the $11.5 million in reserves they claimed at the start of the quarter.

Carson’s campaign has been under scrutiny for spending the bulk of its donations on expensive small-dollar fundraising.

Critics have charged that the operation is merely enriching consultants and advisers.

The campaign has pushed back furiously, noting that as a political newcomer, Carson did not have a fundraising base when he launched his bid for president and that it’s expensive to build one out from the ground up.

Carson’s fourth-quarter haul indicates he still has a huge base of grassroots supporters eager to back his candidacy. Earlier this month, an adviser told The Hill the campaign’s average donation for the fourth quarter was in the $50 range.

But the impressive haul comes as Carson’s polling numbers have collapsed. Carson has struggled since the focus of the Republican presidential race turned to national security and has said that a campaign shake-up is imminent.

This story was updated on Dec. 31 at 9:45 a.m.

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