Feel the burn rate: Candidates' 2015 spending stats revealed

Among Candidates, Who's Winning the Money Race?
Among Candidates, Who's Winning the Money Race?

Publicly accessible campaign finance data—it's not as boring as it sounds. The candidates filed their year-end economic reports over the weekend, and the data gives a new look into how they're making and spending money (and how much of that money goes to their volunteers' pizza habit).


When it comes to cash flow, the Clinton campaign is really hustling. The former Secretary of State brought in more money than any other candidate—and she's spending it faster too. Her campaign raked in more than $38 million in the last 3 months of 2015, according to Sunday's FEC filings, and spent more than $33 million in that same period.

democrats are the big spenders / the clinton/sanders race has created the biggest money fight

(Note that this is just the candidates' own campaign spending. The PACs and Super-PACs who spend millions to back them with media spending and outreach programs are not included in these numbers. Add to those, and the picture is vastly different.)

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Carson was another big spender in the last quarter, attempting to effort reinvigorate his failing campaign. Meanwhile, the Cruz and Rubio campaigns spent just under $16 million each last quarter as they vie for second place behind The Donald. Interestingly, Trump—not exactly known for frugality—kept his expenses to just under $7 million, largely because as a headline-generating machine, his campaign had less need to spend money to buy airtime than other candidates. But this quarter may be different, as things get real and Trump has announced that he will "spend big" in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

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To do so, it seems he'll have to dig deep into his own pockets. Trump lent his campaign $10.8 million in the last quarter of 2015, something he seems proud of. "You know the nice part about me?" he asked reporters back in August. "I don't need anybody's money." Which is good, because despite ample media attention and status as a major debate presence, he has received hardly any money from outsiders so far this election. Trump convinced fewer donors than his three major competitors to stump up for his campaign. He attracted less than half the donations received by the Jeb Bush campaign. Bush also donated no personal cash to his campaign in 2016. Take away Trump's own out-of-pocket spending, and he's right down the bottom of the rankings in terms of income.

2016_2_1 fecfilingreceipts js r6

In addition to being neck-and-neck in the polls, with a difference of only four points in Iowa, receipts from last quarter show that the two leading Democratic candidates are both feeling the burn rate—they're spending close to $300,000 a day to win American hearts and minds. In 2015, Clinton raised a total of $112 million, about $39 million more than Sanders. But the gap is narrowing. Sanders, who has long touted his campaign as being "people-powered," came in only $4.5 million short of Hillary last quarter and raised a record $20 million in donations in January—that's the equivalent of more than a quarter of his total 2015 donations.

See the candidates in action:

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Thanks to his support base, largely made up of individuals with small donations, the Bernie 2016 committee ended up filing a 99,417-page report of receipts and disbursements (almost three times as long as Clinton's). The average donation to his campaign was $27.16 last quarter.

The post Feel The Burn Rate: Candidates' 2015 Spending Stats Revealed appeared first on Vocativ.

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