Where Have 2016 Presidential Donors Given Before?

Marco Rubio is mining Mitt Romney’s old donor list for cash, while Ron Paul’s old donors overlap most with — you guessed it — Rand Paul.

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Scott Bland and Stephanie Stamm
Aug. 19, 2015, 1 a.m.

The can­did­ates run­ning for pres­id­ent are all try­ing to mo­bil­ize dif­fer­ent co­ali­tions of voters that have powered past cam­paigns. A look through their dona­tion re­cords hints at the lin­eage of each cam­paign’s sup­port.

At least 20 per­cent of Hil­lary Clin­ton’s item­ized donors to her 2016 cam­paign also gave to Pres­id­ent Obama’s cam­paign in 2008, ac­cord­ing to a Na­tion­al Journ­al ana­lys­is match­ing re­cords from cur­rent and past cam­paign fin­ance re­ports. Clin­ton’s total from those 4,000 donors alone reaches over $8 mil­lion, mak­ing up 18 per­cent of her total fun­drais­ing so far for 2016.

Oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates are also get­ting sup­port from the base that powered Obama’s 2008 cam­paign. Of Bernie Sanders’s many item­ized donors, at least 18.2 per­cent of them gave to Obama’s 2008 cam­paign. Just un­der 15 per­cent of Mar­tin O’Mal­ley’s donors matched to Obama’s first pres­id­en­tial cam­paign.

Our ana­lys­is provides a con­ser­vat­ive es­tim­ate of over­lap­ping sup­port. We matched names and zip codes from the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion’s dona­tion re­cords across cam­paigns; ty­pos, name changes, and mov­ing all could have caused shared donors’ re­cords not to match. The ana­lys­is also omits donors who gave less than $200, since cam­paigns aren’t re­quired to item­ize and re­port those dona­tions.

On the Re­pub­lic­an side, the ques­tion of who might in­her­it Mitt Rom­ney’s donor net­work has loomed over the cam­paign all year. So far, Marco Ru­bio’s cam­paign has re­lied most on ex-Rom­ney donors from 2012: Over 35 per­cent of Ru­bio’s donors gave to the GOP’s last nom­in­ee and have com­mit­ted $2.8 mil­lion to the sen­at­or from Flor­ida so far.

Jeb Bush is also draw­ing a lot of former Rom­ney donors, while the oth­er two top fun­draisers among GOP can­did­ates — in­sur­gents Ben Car­son and Ted Cruz — are draw­ing less from that es­tab­lish­ment pool.

Ron Paul re­cently star­ted send­ing fun­drais­ing emails for his son Rand Paul’s pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, which could bol­ster the 2016-lead­ing share of donors that Paul the young­er is draw­ing from his dad’s old cam­paigns. At least 14.6 per­cent of Rand Paul’s donors gave money to Ron Paul in 2012.

Mike Hucka­bee is see­ing less than 13 per­cent of over­lap between him­self and”¦ him­self. Only 12.9 per­cent of Hucka­bee’s 2008 donors match to his 2016 list, as of the second-quarter FEC fil­ing dead­lines in Ju­ly — though some of that might be be­cause people have moved, changed their names, or oth­er­wise changed info in their fil­ings since eight years ago.

Rick Perry, mean­while, has re­lied on donors from his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign to fill his cof­fers in 2016, with over one-third of his donors com­ing from his 2012 list. But part of the reas­on that Perry has struggled fin­an­cially so far is that those 2012 Perry donors have ac­tu­ally giv­en far more money to Ted Cruz’s cam­paign so far.


Be­hind the scenes post here.

Contributions by Andrew McGill

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