According to an Associated Press review the 2016 presidential contest has barely began, and already donors have given $377 million. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a group that tracks election financial activity that amount is more than the presidential candidates raised for the entire primary election of 2000.
More details about the fundraising will be given by midnight Wednesday, the deadline when most candidates must file their initial reports to the Federal Election Commission.
Those reports will cover financial activity between April 1 and June 30 and will include the names of everyone who gave at least $200 to their campaign. The maximum contribution allowed for the primary is $2,700.
In recent weeks, the number of presidential hopefuls has grown to five Democrats and 17 Republicans and they’re now traveling the country attending donor dinners and pleading for online contributions in emails to supporters.
Dozens of super PACs have contributed to the fundraising market being so crowded in an attempt to help specific candidates. Most of the PACs are able to accept contributions of any size however they limited on how closely they can work with the campaigns.
Unlike most candidates, PACs don’t file their FEC reports until the end of the month. Almost half of the money disclosed so far originated from just two of the expected 22 candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush.
The Democratic front-runner Clinton has raised $45 million and Priorities USA Action (a super PAC) raised an additional $15 million. Before Bush officially declared his candidacy, he spent the first six months of the year raising huge sums of money for a super PAC called Right to Rise which says it has raised a record $103 million.
Bush’s presidential campaign, which officially began on June 15, raised $11.5 million from contributors. With at least four of the other Republican hopefuls outside groups are furthering their ambitions by outpacing the fundraising for their own campaigns.
The initial campaign finance reports for major Republican candidates such as Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won’t be included since they made their campaigns official too recently to file second-quarter FEC reports. The first glimpse at their campaign financial activity will come in mid-October.
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