Revealing Cash in Hand, Candidates Lay Their Cards on the Table
Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 9.59.20 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN Friday, October 16, 2015

 

 

Good Friday morning. The candidates have met their filing deadlines, and now we know how much money they raised in the third quarter. There are conclusions to be drawn: Donald J. Trump raised more in donations than he contributed on his own; and the outsider candidates finding success in the polls are also adept at soliciting donors. But the money trails provide new metrics to gauge who has an advantage and who has more work to do.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has faced a number of bad news cycles over the last seven months. But as the dust settles after Thursday, when the campaigns had to put their cards on the table and show what they raised, spent and still had in their bank accounts, Mrs. Clinton emerged with an advantage.

She has roughly $33 million in cash on hand, the most of any candidate in either party at this point. She has also spent most of what she raised last cycle, a so-called burn rate that got a lot of attention when she put out her initial numbers when the quarter ended on Sept. 30.
That’s a similar spending rate to Jeb Bush, who released the names of his donors, as well as his total raised in the quarter, $13 million, but who has seen his poll numbers fall throughout the summer. And he has far less cash on hand. Mrs. Clinton has been trying to build a vast operation — her payroll load is the biggest cost that her campaign took note of, at over $5 million. The way campaigns spend their money is more important than how much is spent, at least with some months left before the end of the year.
But Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is not far behind Mrs. Clinton in cash on hand, at roughly $27 million. With his base of small donors to whom he can repeatedly turn, Mr. Sanders has the potential to catch up to Mrs. Clinton in fund-raising in the next quarter should she fail to exceed her performance in the last one.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida raised less than $6 million for the Republican nominating contest. That’s less than half what Mr. Bush raised, and while Mr. Rubio is getting a look from some donors, he will need a far better quarter for the final three months of the year. Mr. Trump was one of the biggest surprises — donating just over $100,000 to his campaign. His aides said he raised roughly $4 million in “unsolicited” contributions.
Among those who had the roughest quarters was Martin OMalley, the former Maryland governor whose poll numbers, even in his own state, are in the low single digits. He raised roughly $1.2 million and has just $800,000 in cash on hand. There’s a reason Mr. O’Malley has made calling for more debates a centerpiece of his campaign.