The Slatest

Hillary and Bernie Are Raising Way More Money Than Their Republican Rivals 

Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders participate in the Democratic candidates debate hosted by NBC News on Jan. 17, 2016.  

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Monday night’s Iowa caucus will tell us plenty about the state of the Democratic and Republican races. But nearly as important as who leaves the Hawkeye State with momentum will be who still has the campaign cash to capitalize on it—or just to survive. Below, you’ll find the 2015 fourth-quarter fundraising totals for each candidate (as reported to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday night), ranked by how much money each had on hand at the start of this year.


  1. Hillary Clinton: $38.1 million raised in Q4; $38 million cash on hand
  2. Bernie Sanders: $33.6 million raised; $28.3 million cash on hand
  3. Ted Cruz: $20.5 million raised; $18.7 million cash on hand
  4. Marco Rubio: $14.2 million raised; $10.4 million cash on hand
  5. Jeb Bush: $7.1 million raised; $7.6 million cash on hand
  6. Donald Trump: $13.6 million raised; $7.0 million cash on hand
  7. Ben Carson: $22.6 million raised; $6.6 million cash on hand
  8. Carly Fiorina: $2.9 million raised; $4.5 million cash on hand
  9. John Kasich: $3.2 million raised; $2.5 million cash on hand
  10. Rand Paul: $2.1 million raised; $1.3 million cash on hand
  11. Chris Christie: $3.0 million raised; $1.1 million cash on hand
  12. Martin O’Malley: $1.5 million raised; $0.2 million cash on hand
  13. Mike Huckabee: $0.7 million raised; $0.1 million ash on hand
  14. Rick Santorum: $0.2 million raised; $0.04 million cash on hand
  15. Jim Gilmore: $0.1 million raised; $0.03 million cash on hand


The Democratic Advantage

Hillary and Bernie continued to outpace their Republican rivals in the fundraising department over the final three months of 2015. Clinton raised $38 million in the fourth-quarter, bringing her 2015 haul to a rather staggering $116 million. Sanders couldn’t quiet match those totals, but the nearly $34 million he brought in during the final three months of 2015 was his best quarter to date and bumped his total up to $75 million. No Republican came near those numbers in 2015. (The GOP candidate who raised the most for his campaign last year was Ben Carson, who brought in $54 million—but who also spent about $48 million during that same period.) Regardless of what happens in Iowa on Monday night, both Sanders and Clinton will have plenty of cash left in the bank to press on for the foreseeable future. The third Democrat in the race, Martin O’Malley won’t have that luxury. He had to take out a loan late last year to keep his campaign afloat, and many on his campaign staff are currently going without pay.


While Bernie’s been much more competitive on the fundraising front than anyone expected, the campaign numbers don’t include money raised by super PACs, which Sanders has sworn off. The Clinton-aligned Priorities USA Action raised a total of $41 million in 2015, more than $25 million of which came in over the past six months. The group’s biggest donor in the second half of last year? Democratic megadonor George Soros, who gave $6 million.


The GOP Winnowing

There are now three clear tiers within the Republican race. At the top you have Cruz, Rubio, Bush, and Trump, all of whom appear to have the cash to stick around for as long as they’d like. (The Donald finally delivered on his much-hyped promise to self-fund his own candidacy, loaning his campaign $11 million in the fourth quarter—accounting for roughly 80 percent of all the cash he brought in during that time.) Tier two consists of Carson, Fiorina, Kasich, Christie, and Paul, who likely have enough cash to keep the lights on through the early states. And in the bottom tier are Huckabee, Santorum, and Gilmore—who all should be looking for change under couches in their campaign offices right about now. The only non-first-tier candidates with plausible-ish paths to the nomination are Kasich and Christie, who are both banking on a strong finish in New Hampshire to jump-start their campaigns. But even a great showing in the Granite State next week might be for naught if it’s not by a wide enough margin to convince donors to open up their checkbooks.

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Read more of Slate’s coverage of the 2016 campaign.