Marco Rubio has ensconced himself in the top tier of 2016 Republican presidential candidates in terms of fund-raising, though he’s still far behind Miami rival Jeb Bush.
On Monday, Rubio’s campaign reported collecting $12 million between the Florida senator’s launch in April through June 30. He also raised $1.2 million in the first half of the year through a political action committee, Reclaim America, that Rubio has used to support other political candidates. That’s $13.2 million total.
Add that to the $31.8 million amassed by two other groups run by Rubio allies and the candidate has raked in about $45 million, placing him in third place, for now, in the packed GOP primary. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has reported a $51.2 million haul between his campaign and allied Super PACs. Both lag former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose campaign and Super PAC amassed $114.4 million, more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, in the race.
“We feel very good about the numbers,” said Bernie Navarro, a longtime Rubio friend and now fund-raiser in Coral Gables. “Even better about the types of donors.”
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More than 12,000 Florida donors contributed $2.2 million, the Rubio campaign said in a statement. An aide told the Miami Herald nearly $1 million of that came from southern Florida, including the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce and Fort Myers-Naples areas.
About $3.3 million of Rubio’s campaign cash was transferred from his Senate re-election account, which had accepted donations long before his presidential campaign began, spokesman Alex Conant said.
Campaign contributions are capped at $2,700, whereas Super PACs can accept donations in unlimited amounts (the limit for leadership PACs is $5,000). While Super PACs, like candidates, must eventually disclose their donors in public filings to the Federal Election Commission, political non-profit organizations do not. Rubio supporters run a Super PAC, Conservative Solutions, and a non-profit, Conservative Solutions Project, which can’t endorse the candidate but can advocate for issues that align with Rubio’s agenda.
Most of Rubio’s cash — about $10.3 million — remains in the bank. His aides have boasted of a “lean” operation that has spent only about $2.3 million so far. The campaign has started reserving time for television ads in early-primary states to lock in cheaper rates.
In a statement, the campaign touted donations “from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.”
In an email to supporters, the campaign also said that two of the five most common donor last names to the Cuban-American candidate were Hispanic: Gonzalez and Rodriguez. The others were Smith, Johnson and Miller.
Presidential campaign cash
Here’s how much money 2016 presidential contenders have reported raising so far. Not all of them have disclosed their totals or declared their candidacies yet.
▪ Jeb Bush: $11.4 million (campaign) + $103 million (allies) = $114.4 million
▪ Ted Cruz: $14.2 million (campaign) + $37 million (allies) = $51.2 million
▪ Marco Rubio: $12 million (campaign) + $1.2 million (leadership PAC) + $31.8 million (allies) = $45 million
▪ John Kasich: $11.5 million (allies)
▪ Ben Carson: $10.5 million (campaign)
▪ Rand Paul: $7 million (campaign)
▪ Carly Fiorina: $1.4 million (campaign) + $3.4 million (allies) = $4.8 million
▪ Rick Perry: $1.07 million (campaign) + $16.8 million (allies) = $17.9 million
▪ Hillary Clinton: $45 million (campaign) + $24 million (allies) = $69 million
▪ Bernie Sanders: $15 million (campaign)
▪ Lincoln Chafee: $393,000 (campaign)