5 Things We've Learned About 2016 Fundraising

The first major campaign finance data dump of the 2016 presidential race is in, offering a look into how the candidates are raising and spending money. Full story: http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/07/16/423358905/5-things-weve-learned-about-2016-presidential-fundraising
  1. 1.
    Hillary Clinton's campaign has far out-raised all the others
    Clinton's campaign has raised more than twice as much as any other campaign yet this cycle — $47.5 million. The next-highest-raising campaigns thus far in the 2016 cycle are Republican Marco Rubio ($19.6 million), Clinton's chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders ($15.2 million), and Republican Ted Cruz ($14.3 million). This puts the Clinton campaign's fundraising roughly on pace with Obama's $46.2 million raised at this point in the 2012 race.
  2. 2.
    SuperPAC donations totally change the game
    Jeb Bush's Right to Rise superPAC, for example, has reported that it raised $103 million, which means Bush has $114 million in his corner — 10 times the $11.4 million his campaign raised, and enough to dwarf the total raised by the Clinton campaign plus the $15.6 million her Priorities USA PAC has reportedly raised. These superPACs aren't constrained by donation limits (like campaigns are) and can still run ads in support of particular candidates.
  3. 3.
    Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders are the kings of small donors
    Candidates are fond of touting their totals of unitemized donations — FEC-speak for donations of less than $200 — as a measure of their grass-roots support. Thus far, the candidates who have taken in the largest share of their individual donation totals from these small donors are Sanders (76 percent), Carson (68 percent) and Paul (60 percent). At the other end of the spectrum is Bush, who only received 3.4 percent of his individual contributions from those small donors.
  4. 4.
    It's going to be one huge-spending campaign
    Looking just at the major candidates (which we're defining here as the people who in the last quarter raised $100,000 or more, not counting self-funding), the total amount of spending on this election is already staggering: At this point in the 2012 cycle, these major candidates had taken in around $83 million. This time, it's around $138 million.
  5. 5.
    Does Donald Trump need donors?
    Trump's campaign reported $1.4 million in receipts — not massive, but enough to beat out a few other GOP candidates, including Santorum and Jindal. But the majority of that was a loan from Trump himself. His individual donation tallies are remarkably small. Only $92,000 of his $1.4 million came from individual contributors, and only $32,000 of that came via those small, unitemized contributions.