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How the 2016 Presidential Candidates are Getting Their Money

How the 2016 Presidential Candidates are Getting Their Money

How the 2016 Presidential Candidates are Getting Their Money

With today’s technology and political funding climate, there are a variety of strategies that can be pursued to get much-needed cash into campaign coffers.

If you happen to already be a billionaire, we recommend the “self-funded” approach. That’s what Donald Trump has used thus far, which has enabled him to speak his mind as well as gloat about the donations he’s made to other candidates in the past.

The opposite take would be a grassroots strategy, which is employed by Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson. While they’ve raised far less in total than many other candidates, it is certainly enough to get the ball rolling. Each candidate has gotten 77% and 65% respectively of their funding from donations under $200.

If you’re not a billionaire and don’t have grassroots appeal, we suggest that you start lobbying hard. Wall Street, big corporations, unions, and billionaires are a good place to start. Most candidates fit in this group.

Hillary Clinton and Rick Santorum both rely heavily on maxed out individual donations of $2,700 so far in the 2016 campaign. Hillary also typically relies on big support from Wall Street banks, with Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse among her top all-time donors for previous campaigns. Though, in 2016, so far it is banks like Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, along with many large law firms doing the heavy lifting.

Others candidates such as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker rely the most heavily on big donations from the usual suspects. Goldman Sachs is the largest funder of Jeb Bush, who has only raised 12% of his total funds from donations of $2,700 or less. Ted Cruz has gotten the highest percentage of $1 million+ donations, including a $15 million donation from the Wilks brothers to his super PAC. Lastly, Scott Walker has also had some support from ultra-wealthy brothers: Walker is a preferred candidate of the Koch brothers, who are planning to wield nearly $1 billion in funding in the 2016 election cycle.

Original graphic by: NPR

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