Approaching a Clearer Look at a Tangled Field

NYT FDMaggie Haberman 7/8/2015


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Good Wednesday morning from Washington, where Congress is debating an education law and where another Republican has said he just might join the race for the White House. It is a crowded race, after all, where the full picture is hidden among polling numbers and money raised, and where a first crucial deadline is just around the corner.

With less than 30 days until the first Republican presidential primary debate in Ohio, the jockeying for a spot will only intensify. So will the hunt for campaign cash.

Among the so-called establishment lane of presidential candidates – Jeb BushSenator Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin – only Mr. Rubio has been in the race for a substantial length of time. Mr. Walker won’t officially declare his candidacy until Monday, and Mr. Bush has been a formal candidate for only a few weeks.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has announced that he raised about $10 million since he entered the race at the end of March, and another roughly $40 million from the “super PAC” that is allowed to raise unlimited donations to support him.

Among Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s team said she had raised $45 million, a figure that is likely to dwarf candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Her chief rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, raised $15 million, almost entirely from small-dollar donors. Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland who entered the race at the end of May, has not yet said what he’s raised.

But the money will not necessarily paint a full picture on its own. The Federal Election Commission finance filings become public on July 15 and will reveal how much each campaign has spent, in addition to the so-called burn rate – cash raised compared with money spent. They will also shed light on infrastructure. With three weeks left for Republicans to qualify for the debates, the contours of the race will become clearer.