How The 2016 Candidates Are Getting Their Money, In 1 Infographic
Jeb Bush is getting all the millionaires, and Bernie Sanders is getting the small donors — those have been two prominent storylines in the 2016 money race for the presidency.
But what about everyone in between? The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Finance Institute released data on campaign fundraising, and it paints a fascinating picture — which we decided to make into a literal picture. Here's how the different candidates' donation patterns stack up to each other:
What we found is that in the era of looser rules, candidates seem to have adopted a variety of fundraising models (for more analysis, read how we broke these models down). Some, like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are more dependent on their superPACs — as indicated by their share of support from super-big donations — while others, like Martin O'Malley, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders, are dependent on their campaigns, which limit contributions to $2,700.
And then, of course, there are the self-funded candidates. This data doesn't reflect candidates' donations or loans to themselves. Donald Trump is the main example of this among presidential candidates, with $1.8 million in self-funding, though Lincoln Chafee has likewise donated his campaign the majority of its funds.
Campaign committees and superPACs are the main ways candidates are raising money this year — they are by far the most popular types of committees, and most candidates have both (and some have multiple superPACs). Many candidates' superPACs are taking on traditional campaign roles this cycle, like rapid response, in addition to making big ad buys.
However, some are taking advantage of other fundraising avenues, but those have a variety of different restrictions. A handful have 527s — tax-exempt groups that can raise unlimited money but can't specifically advocate for a candidate. A few also have 501(c)(4)s, nonprofit groups that can also raise unlimited funds and do not have to disclose where those funds came from. However, they also are tightly restricted in their political activities.
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