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4th Quarter 2015 Fundraising

In this 2016 election cycle one must look at money raised by both the candidate's campaign committee and by the independent super PAC(s) aligned with the campaigns in order to get a sense of the strength of the overall effort.   

Federal Election Commission: 2016 Presidential Campaign Finance
 Releases on 3rd Quarter 2015 Fundraising  
 Releases on 2nd Quarter 2015 Fundraising

Press Releases on Fundraising

Some campaigns / super PACs put out press releases on their numbers, while others give them to a favored news organization or let their reports speak for themselves.

If a campaign's fundraising numbers are below expectations, it may try to bury the news or put a positive spin on other developments during the quarter.  For example, some campaigns may highlight money raised since the beginning of the campaign to present a bigger number.  If the numbers exceed expectations, the campaign will trumpet its success.  As important as the amount raised is, cash on hand is a very important number heading into the first contests.

press releases from:
- Hillary for America (Jan. 1, 2016)
- Bernie 2016 (Jan. 2, 2016)
Hillary for America
January 1, 20156

Hillary Clinton Raises $55 Million in Fourth Quarter

$37 Million for Primary Campaign, $18 Million for Democratic Party

Thanks to the support of hundreds of thousands of people across the country, Hillary for America set a new record for the best off-year fundraising of any non-incumbent in history.  At the beginning of this campaign, Hillary Clinton set a goal of $100 million in primary contributions for 2015 and blew past that goal, raising more than $112 million in primary money for the year.  Clinton’s $37 million in primary dollars in the fourth quarter set a new record for the best off-year Q4 for a non-incumbent.  In addition to the money raised for her campaign, Clinton raised more than $18 million for the DNC and State Parties across the country through the Hillary Victory Fund in the fourth quarter.

Clinton raised roughly as much for the primary as President Obama did during 2011 as a sitting president and more than either Clinton or Obama in 2007 despite having one fewer quarter to raise.

"Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have joined together and powered this historic campaign, we are now heading into Iowa and New Hampshire with the resources we need to be successful," said Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook.  "Helping Democratic candidates win up and down the ticket is a top priority for Hillary Clinton which is why she's also proud to be doing her part to ensure Democrats have the resources we need to win."

Key Stats

·         HFA primary raised for Q4: $37 million

·         HFA general raised for Q4: $1 million

·         HFA primary raised for 2015: $112 million

·         HFA cash on hand heading into 2016: Nearly $38 million

·         94% of Q4 donations to HFA were in increments of $100 or less

·         More than 60% of HFA donors for the year were women

·         Q4 Raised for the DNC and State Parties through the HVF: $18 million


For Immediate Release, January 1, 2016

Bernie 2016
January 2, 2016
Contact: Michael Briggs

Sanders’ People-Powered Campaign Smashes Record Number of Donations, Revolutionizes American Politics

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign raised more than $33 million in the final three months of last year in a way that rewrote the record books for White House campaigns. The tally for the year-end quarter pushed his total raised last year to $73 million from more than 1 million individuals who made a record 2.5 million donations.

“This people-powered campaign is revolutionizing American politics,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “What we are showing is that we can run a strong, national campaign without a super PAC and without depending on millionaires and billionaires for their support. We are making history and we are proud of it.”

The 2,513,665 donations to Sanders’ campaign broke the record set four years ago by President Barack Obama’s re-election committee. Through Dec. 31, 2011, Obama had chalked up 2,209,636 donations.

The more than 1 million donors to Sanders also is a milestone unmatched by any first-time White House candidate. Obama’s millionth donor in his 2008 campaign came on Feb. 27 of that election year. (In the next election cycle, the incumbent president’s re-election campaign hit the 1-million- donors mark on Oct. 17, 2011.)

Unlike other campaigns, small contributions made up the vast majority of all the money Sanders’ campaign raised. The average donation to Sanders during the past three months was $27.16.

Unlike other presidential campaigns, 99.9 percent of Sanders’ supporters may give again because they have not reached the legal limit on donations to traditional campaign committees. Only a few hundred of the more than 1 million Sanders donors have given the maximum $2,700.

Unlike candidates who have coordinated with so-called super PACs, Sanders has refused to work with the fund-raising behemoths that have corrupted American politics.

All told, Sanders supporters gave $33,281,952 during the Federal Election Commission reporting period that ended at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Secretary Clinton's campaign announced on Friday that she raised $37 million in the last quarter for use in the Democratic primary. The total for Sanders far surpassed donations in either of the previous two quarters of his eight-month long campaign and brought the fundraising total for 2015 to $72.8 million. Sanders ended the year with $28.4 million cash on hand.

The record number of donations to Sanders is one way to measure the grassroots enthusiasm for his campaign. Another sign of his success has been big turnouts at rallies and town meetings in Iowa and New Hampshire and other states. In Iowa alone, more than 35,000 have come to Sanders-sponsored campaign events.

“Bernie is the only candidate generating the kind of broad-based enthusiasm and excitement that Democrats must have in order to raise funds for a general election campaign and keep the White House and make gains in Congress,” Weaver said.