6 takeaways from the 2016 cash race

The candidates running for president in 2016 have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and spent in the tens of millions before the Democratic and Republicans fields have even been finalized.
Candidates that announced their bids for the White House before the end of June had to file their quarterly reports Wednesday.
The super-PACs supporting the candidates don’t have to file until the end of the month, but many released figures early to give their candidates an added boost.
{mosads}Here are six takeaways from these early fundraising figures:

1. Bush and Clinton stay on top

The establishment favorites made big fundraising statements that should worry their upstart challengers.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) ran up the score fundraising on behalf of the group that is now his super-PAC, bringing in more than $100 million in the first six months of the year. Together, Bush’s campaign and super-PAC have raised a combined $114 million.
That’s more than twice the combined total for the closest candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and more than three-times the combined haul for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). 
No other Republican is even in the ballpark. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is expected to be a fundraising force, but he announced in July and thus won’t report until next quarter.
On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Hillary Clinton set the record for biggest individual haul in a quarter, posting nearly $47 million. That’s more than three-times that of her biggest threat in the race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Still, Sanders notched an impressive $15 million haul driven largely by small donors.

2. Outside groups boosting outsider candidates

A handful of candidates would be dead in the water if not for the super-PACs supporting them.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and businesswoman Carly Fiorina are among the GOP candidates that posted paltry second-quarter campaign fundraising numbers. But all of them could be around for the long haul thanks to the outside groups.
Super-PACs can take in donations of any size, while donors can only give a maximum of $2,7000 directly to a campaign. Campaigns and super-PACS are barred from coordinating directly, although the lines are murky.
Perry led the way in this category. He raised only $1.1 million in the second quarter, but a trio of super-PACs supporting his presidential bid took in $17 million.
Jindal raised only $600,000 in the second quarter, but outside groups backing him raised $8.6 million. Huckabee raised $2 million but got a $6 million boost from supporting super-PACs. Fiorina raised only $1.7 million but will benefit from $3.4 million raised by a supporting super-PAC.

3. You have to spend to make the debate

Republican candidates are spending like there’s no tomorrow in an attempt to qualify for the first debate.
There are 17 Republicans running for president, but Fox News is capping the first debate at the top 10 candidates based on national polling numbers.
That has candidates spending money early to raise their national profiles, so as not to be left out.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Cruz and Perry are all on the fringe of qualifying for the debate, and each churned through more than half of the money they received in the second quarter.
Businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Huckabee also had high burn rates but should be safe to make the first debate.

4. Big donors vs. small donors 

A strong majority of donors giving to the campaigns for Bush or Clinton contributed the maximum $2,700.
Meanwhile, a handful of upstarts are relying on small donations of less than $200 to fuel their campaigns.
Carson has raised more than $10 million so far this cycle, with about two-thirds of the total coming from small-dollar donors.
On the Democratic side, Sanders went on a fundraising tear propelled by grassroots supporters. He raised $15 million in the second quarter with an average donation of $33.

5. Senators rake in big bucks

A trio of U.S. senators running for the Republican presidential nomination posted impressive figures in the second quarter.
Cruz’s polling numbers are fading, and he’s on the cusp of missing the first debate, but he’ll be around for the long haul.
Cruz’s campaign has brought in more cash than any other GOP candidate in 2015.
In addition, a group of super-PACs supporting his bid brought in an $37 million. Combined, the campaign and outside groups have hauled in more than $50 million, putting him second only to Bush in the overall GOP field.
Rubio raised nearly $9 million in the second quarter, but he too will get a big boost from outside groups. Super-PACs supporting Rubio’s bid combined for nearly $32 million in the second quarter.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) brings up the rear, tallying nearly $7 million in the quarter. Still, Paul’s haul indicates a fervent grassroots base of support, with nearly 60 percent coming from small-dollar donations.
Paul could also get another boost when super-PACs supporting his bid announce their figures.

6. Lagging behind the field

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) isn’t getting traction in the polls, and his fundraising numbers did not impress, particularly in light of the massive sums hauled in by Clinton and Sanders.
O’Malley took in $2 million the second quarter. Meanwhile, Clinton raised nearly $47 million and Sanders took in $15 million.
O’Malley launched his campaign in late May, so that figure only represents about a month of fundraising. He could still get a boost when a super-PAC supporting his presidential bid announces its figures later this month.
It was also a rough quarter for Santorum, who notched a surprising victory in the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
Santorum raised just over $600,000, although he had only a month to fundraise before filing.
Santorum will be looking for support from GOP mega-donor Foster Friess, who in 2012 funded a pro-Santorum super-PAC that kept the candidate afloat as he emerged as the primary challenger to Mitt Romney.
Tags Ben Carson Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton Jeb Bush Rand Paul Rick Perry Ted Cruz

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