October 22, 2015

MEGAN MCARDLE: What Big Campaign Donations Can’t Buy:

By June, Jeb Bush was the GOP PACman; he had raised more than $100 million, and spent over $10 million of it. Second in such fundraising is Ted Cruz, who raised $38.4 million in outside money. The two of them together have 60 percent more cash than all the other candidates combined. They are currently tied for fourth place in polling.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, who used to be running third in the PAC race, has already dropped out, as have Rick Perry and his $13.8 million worth of outside funds. Marco Rubio, with a comparatively dainty $17.3 million, is doing better than the three early leaders in outside fundraising — and yet he’s still being blown away in polling by Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who have raised, to a first approximation, zero in outside funds.

As Paul Blumenthal, Sam Stein and Scott Conroy write at the Huffington Post: “According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, outside groups — super PACs and political ‘nonprofits’ — have already poured in more than $33 million to promote Republican candidates in the primary campaign through mass communication like television, radio, online advertising, direct mail and phone-banking. … Meanwhile, two candidates whose most significant source of outside help has been free media attention — Trump and Carson — have consistently remained the top two candidates in both national and statewide polls.”

Where are all those shadowy billionaires we were warned out?

Well, if they were smart, they’d be buying media companies. But we’ve been over that one before.

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