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Allahpundit gave this the alternate title of “Man Buys Nomination.” When it comes to Jeb Bush and the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States in 2016, that just might be the case if the GOP establishment gets its way. According to National Journal, Bush’s SuperPAC, announced that it has raised $103 million in the first six months of 2015, beating their fundraising goal of $100 million. To give this achievement some perspective, the GOP candidate with next largest war chest is Ted Cruz with $51 million, $14 million of which was raised in the same time frame.
To put it mildly, going up against that kind of cash is going to make David and Goliath look like a golf match. For analysis, the HotAir wonder puts it this way:
The whole field’s going to struggle trying to compete with the Bush ad barrage, but that hurts more in some places than others. It might not sink Walker in Iowa, just because he’s more regionally and ideologically in tune with the electorate there than Jeb is. It might not cinch New Hampshire for Bush either, as that state often prefers underdogs like McCain to juggernauts. The early state where the numbers will matter most, I assume, is Florida, where advertising time is expensive due to the sheer size of the population and the rates for airtime in major media markets like Miami. For everyone in the field save one man, that’s not a big deal: Bush is expected to win Florida anyway so there’s no great pressure on Walker or Rand Paul to pour in millions there in hopes of a longshot upset. The one guy who must compete, though, is Rubio; unless he pulls off a win in one of the early states, losing his home state to Bush will probably sink him.
The one GOP candidate that will not be effected by Jeb Bush’s team’s truly great accomplishment in fundraising (over 500 donors giving more than $25,000 each is quite a feat in the development world. No donor fatigue there) is Donald Trump. He claims that his trips to the men’s room, in not so polite terms, are worth more than that. However, the GOP establishment is making a concerted effort to shut Trump out of debates, and they are trying to downplay his message on illegal immigration, so it is quite obvious that their backing will not extend to him. (Guess they got a shock when he went TEA Party on them. Besides, he has more money than they do and gets it done with a brashness that can be grating.) For Trump, it does not really matter. He has name recognition which is what all the cash is about in the beginning. Non-political junkies know who he is. They’ll vote for him.
As for how this stacks up against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic fundraising machine: George Soros is easily the donor contributing the most (5% of $20 million at this stage at just one of three SuperPACs), and in the first quarter of 2016 alone the Hillary campaign raised $45 million (that doesn’t count the spare change the SuperPACs have). That’s a lot of money. More than most of the GOP candidates have at this point. Clinton’s war chest is over nine figures already, and she’s going to need it if she is going to compete not just with the GOP, but her own media appearances.
If the GOP nomination comes down to a plain and simple money fight, the establishment has made it quite clear who their choice is. Now the question is how to get them to notice the conservatives in the party.