The US’ crowded field of presidential candidates recently submitted to the Federal Election Commission mandatory reports of their campaigns’ financial situations for the third quarter of 2015.
Business Insider analysed two of the most important numbers in the reports: the amount raised by each candidate during the quarter, and the total cash remaining in their war chests heading into the sprint of the final quarter.
Our first chart shows how much money each candidate reported raising between July 1 and September 30. The two leading Democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), each had larger hauls than any of the candidates in the more fractious Republican field. The Republicans were led by retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:
A few things jump out here: First, that Democrats are far outpacing Republicans in the early money race, and the split highlights somewhat divergent strategies between the parties in raising money. Clinton and Sanders have placed a focus on raising money directly to their campaigns. For his part, Sanders shuns so-called super PACs, the outside groups allowed to solicit unlimited contributions.
Republicans, on the other hand, have put an early emphasis on those outside groups. The outside group supporting Bush, for example, raised more than $US100 million in the first six months of the year. As a result, Democratic campaigns have more hard money directly donated to their campaigns.
Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, raised almost $US4 million for his efforts, which says something about the phenomenon of his campaign. He had pledged to self-fund his campaign and does not solicit donations.
The second chart shows much money the candidates had in the bank as of the end of September. Clinton and Sanders again had an advantage over their Republican counterparts, as they held more cash than any of the GOP candidates.
On the Republican side, the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had the highest end-of-quarter bank account:
The cash-on-hand figures provide evidence of which candidates could be in trouble heading into the fall sprint. Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), for example, is almost in debt. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) isn’t in great shape. On the Democratic side, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has to hope for a cash infusion sometime soon.
Looking at each candidate’s “burn rates” — the percentage of money spent to how much the campaign raised in the quarter — also helps determine which candidates got the best bang for their buck. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina spent just one-third of what she raised, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) spent only 40%.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), meanwhile, had a burn rate of 181% — an unsustainable figure going forward with only about $US2.1 million left in the bank.
As for candidates like Bush, who had an 86% burn rate but still has more than $US10 million cash on hand, his campaign stressed that money is already being put toward a data and ground-game organisation that can compete with Clinton in a theoretical general-election matchup.
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