Here's how many millions of dollars were wasted on failed presidential campaigns this election

Costs of Failed Campaigns Weigh on Former Candidates
Costs of Failed Campaigns Weigh on Former Candidates

It's the question that's probably always in the back of your mind when a presidential candidate drops out of an election, but you feel too uninformed to ask: What about all the money they raised for their campaign?

Honestly? It kind of just goes to waste.

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Take Jeb Bush, for example. In hopes of clinching the Republican nomination, Jeb raised (and blew through) over $150M, through both Super PACs and his own campaign. We don't know about you, but we'd probably be a little upset if that had all gone towards a failed effort. But fear not for Jeb: he still managed to have a little fun by spending $94K of it clubbing (#Jeb!)

If you're not completely clear on the way political funding works (and with so many loopholes and rules, it's nearly impossible to know every detail), just know this: Big independent groups called Super PACs (Political Action Committees) support candidates with unlimited donations from a variety of sources, often big companies and wealthy individuals.

Here's a breakdown of the contributions to Jeb's campaign made by Super PACs over time:

Though the Super PACs cannot donate directly to the candidate themselves, they can run ads, outreach campaigns and voter turnout efforts for their candidate of choice or against their candidate of choice's opponent. Translation: Super PACs raise and spend big bucks (and are the major driving force) when it comes to funding presidential campaigns.

So just how much money have the candidates who've dropped out raised and (essentially) wasted this election cycle?'s Money site gave us the answer for all 13 former candidates.

The grand total of failed campaign money for all drop-out candidates combined?

Click through (and try not to cringe) below to see the breakdown by each candidate:

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Originally published