Presidential races

GOP donors pour cash into Rubio super-PAC

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Money is pouring into Marco Rubio’s super-PAC at a phenomenal rate, with more than $10 million in fast cash pledged immediately after the South Carolina primary.

In a conference call held Monday between top donors to Conservative Solutions PAC – the main super-PAC supporting the junior Florida senator – Rubio’s biggest bankrollers were told about the eye-popping figure, according to two sources familiar with the call.

{mosads}”Rubio’s super-PAC has had a big week, a very big week,” said a source familiar with the group’s fundraising.

“The $10 million … north of $10 million, was pledged for immediate wiring in. This is money they can immediately use,” the source added.

Raising $10 million in the span of a week more closely resembles the early days of Jeb Bush’s super-PAC Right to Rise – which rapidly raised more than $100 million last year – than the previous history of Conservative Solutions PAC. To put the last week’s fundraising in perspective, Rubio’s super-PAC raised a total of $32.9 million from April 2015 until the end of January 2016, according to federal election records.

Jeff Sadosky, a spokesman for the PAC, declined to comment on the fundraising figures.

The surge of money follows a consolidation of the Republican donor class around Rubio, which has accelerated since Bush quit the race after coming in a distant fourth in South Carolina. A number of Bush’s major super-PAC donors told The Hill they see Rubio as the next best choice, and knowledgeable sources believe that more than half of the powerful Koch network of donors now support Rubio, though there is a solid minority in Ted Cruz’s camp.

Congressional endorsements for Rubio are also flooding in.

To be sure, Cruz, who is Rubio’s rival to be the most viable non-Trump candidate, has no trouble raising money and has formidable fundraising at both the super-PAC and campaign level. But Rubio’s appeal to the business wing of the Republican Party is significantly greater than that of the Texas senator, who alienates many with his strident opposition to GOP leadership.

The Conservative Solutions PAC is launching a broad-based advertising campaign for Rubio leading into Super Tuesday. Sources tracking the buys say the pro-Rubio group is up on air in eight of the March 1 states and are airing ads starting Friday in Florida, Michigan, Idaho, Kansas and Mississippi.  

The biggest disclosed donors to Rubio’s super-PAC so far include billionaire Florida auto dealer Norman Braman, who gave $6 million; Oracle chief Larry Ellison, who gave $4 million, and New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who gave $2.5 million.

“Rubio is not going to fail for lack of money,” said a source familiar with Rubio’s super-PAC fundraising. “He’s got plenty of PAC money and enough campaign money.”

Sources familiar with the Rubio campaign’s plans say he is targeting Virginia and Minnesota as two states he can win on March 1. 

Rubio is doing a swing through Virginia on Sunday, according to local news reports.

“Rubio is putting a flag down in Virginia. That’s the state I think he’s got the best chance,” a source familiar with Rubio’s campaign plans said. “They also think they could surprise in Minnesota.”

Tags Marco Rubio Ted Cruz
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