New CFI Table Arrays the Sources of Candidates’ Early Money

We all know by now that the presidential campaigns raised early money from mega-donors at an unprecedented clip, with most of the money during the first half of 2015 going into legally independent Super PACs.

The Campaign Finance Institute recently released a table that makes it easier to quantify what has been happening.

In the table, candidates and Super PAC receipts are combined, as are each donor’s contributions across the committees.

From the table, it may be noted that only 59 donors (individuals and organizations) gave $1 million or more, but they were responsible for 34 percent of all of the money. More than half of the money came from 477 donors who gave $100,000 or more.

Five candidates and their Super PACs received more than half of their money from million dollar donors: Rick Perry (80 percent), Ted Cruz (71 percent), Scott Walker (63 percent), Mike Huckabee (54 percent), and Marco Rubio (51 percent). Donald Trump’s campaign has been mostly self-financed.

Boosted by a strong second quarter of fundraising through her campaign committee, Hillary Clinton’s support was weighted toward traditional campaign donors who max out at $2,700 for the primary. Donors to her campaign committee accounted for more than 70 percent of her combined total.

At the small donor end of the spectrum, Bernie Sanders, received 77 percent of his money from donors who gave $200 or less. Ben Carson received 65 percent.

Super PACs supporting Carson were unique among all Super PACs in that the $3.4 million raised from donors who gave $200 or less was nearly eight times what all other Super PACs combined raised from small donors.

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