As we said last week when these fundraising numbers first started trickling in, these numbers do matter — fundraising allows candidates to buy air time, hire staff, and get people to the polls. It’s impossible to win without money.
Here’s the GOP primary as it stands by the numbers:
- 3rd Quarter: $20.8 million raised (1st)
- Cash on hand: $11.2 million (2nd)
- RealClearPolitics (RCP) Polling Average: 19.0% (2nd)
Carson should be very satisfied with his position right now. He’s raising a lot of money, mostly from small-dollar donors, and he’s very close to Trump in the polls. He is showing no signs of fading, despite the liberal media’s transparent effort to take him out.
- 3rd Quarter: $13.4 million raised (2nd)
- Cash on hand: $10.3 million (4th)
- RCP Polling Average: 7.3% (6th)
Bush is in a decent position, but it’s hard not to expect more from the perceived establishment front-runner. But don’t forget — Bush’s Super PAC, Right to Rise, has raised more than $100 million to date. He’s in good shape financially.
- 3rd Quarter: $12.2 million raised (3rd)
- Cash on hand: $13.5 million (1st)
- RCP Polling Average: 7.3% (5th)
Cruz has the most cash on hand out of any candidate in the field, and he did an excellent job at fundraising in the third quarter. Cruz may be the GOP field’s ultimate dark horse.
- 3rd Quarter: $6.8 million raised (4th)
- Cash on hand: $5.5 million (5th)
- RCP Polling Average: 7.8% (4th)
Fiorina went from a fledgling candidate barely hitting 1 percent in the polls to a real powerhouse following her dominating performance in the second GOP debate. Her fundraising could improve, but given where she was at a couple short months ago, this is nothing short of impressive.
- 3rd Quarter: $6 million raised (5th)
- Cash on hand: $11 million (3rd)
- RCP Polling Average: 9.7% (3rd)
Rubio had a disappointing fundraising quarter, but his cash on hand number is very solid. He’s going to need to raise a bit more in the 4th quarter, but Rubio seems to be on track with good polling numbers and a high favorability rating among GOP voters.
- 3rd Quarter: $4.4 million raised (6th)
- Cash on hand: $2.7 million (6th)
- RCP Polling Average: 2.3% (9th)
Kasich is seen as an establishment pick, not very popular with the grassroots because of his support for Common Core and his aversion to social issues like abortion and religious liberty, so for him to succeed he needs to raise a lot of money. He’s not doing that, trailing key establishment rivals like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. His strategy is entirely based around winning New Hampshire, and he’ll need to raise a lot more in the 4th quarter in order to do that.
- 3rd Quarter: $4.2 million raised (7th)
- Cash on hand: $1.4 million (9th)
- RCP Polling Average: 1.7% (10th)
Christie had a decent fundraising quarter, but he had to spend a lot of that money running commercials to keep himself high enough in the polls to qualify for the Fox News and CNN debates. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here, as he has not been able to build a strong base of permanent support.
- 3rd Quarter: $3.9 million raised (8th)
- Cash on hand: $255,000 (12th)
- RCP Polling Average: 23.8% (1st)
While Trump may not appear to be doing well on fundraising, he will be self-funding his campaign and likely has little to worry about in terms of having the money he needs to compete.
- 3rd Quarter: $2.5 million raised (9th)
- Cash on hand: $2.1 million (7th)
- RCP Polling Average: 2.7% (8th)
Everyone expected more from Rand Paul. A year ago, it seemed Paul would be a dominating presence in this primary. That hasn’t happened. Is there still time for Paul to turn it around? We’ll find out.
- 3rd Quarter: $1.2 million raised (10th)
- Cash on hand: $760,000 (10th)
- RCP Polling Average: 2.8% (7th)
This is surprising. Huckabee, winner of the 2008 Iowa caucus, was expected to be a major player in this primary as one of the most prominent social conservatives in the race. Instead, he’s languishing low in the polls and not raising a whole lot of money. Will this change any time soon? Iowa is a must-win for Mike Huckabee, and it’ll be here very soon.
- 3rd Quarter: $1.1 million raised (11th)
- Cash on hand: $1.7 million (8th)
- RCP Polling Average: 0.5% (13th)
Not a bad quarter for a candidate who has never polled above 1 percent. Graham will need to make a move soon in order to keep his presidential hopes alive.
- 3rd Quarter: $580,000 raised (12th)
- Cash on hand: $260,000 (11th)
- RCP Polling Average: 0.7% (11th)
Jindal has one strategy: win Iowa. He’s been very busy on the ground there talking to voters, and he has earned some real support. RCP places him at 4 percent (8th) in Iowa polling. Still, he needs to raise money to reach out to caucus goers, and this anemic effort isn’t going to cut it.
- 3rd Quarter: $388,000 raised (13th)
- Cash on hand: $227,000 (13th)
- RCP Polling Average: 0.5% (12th)
Santorum hasn’t been able to emerge in 2016 yet, but he would quickly remind you that he was in a very similar position in 2012 before he became the grassroots answer to Mitt Romney. Fair enough. But this is a disappointing haul so far, and one would imagine Santorum needs to win or place second in Iowa in order to compete for the nomination. Time is ticking.
Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.