Handful of Donors Have Huge Impact on 2016 Race

Handful of Donors Have Huge Impact on 2016 Race Photo (cc) by ThatMattWade

Only 3.7 percent of the donors who have contributed to the campaigns of 2016 presidential candidates so far have given more than $1,000.

But the donations of those 3.7 percent collectively account for 50.9 percent of all direct presidential campaign contributions so far.

That’s according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which issued a news release Monday. The nonprofit analyzed the latest quarterly campaign finance reports released by the Federal Election Commission.

The FEC is the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing federal campaign finance laws, including collection and publication of campaign finance reports that candidates must disclose.

Dan Smith, democracy program director for the PIRG Education Fund, says elections should be about “big ideas, not big checks”:

“Candidates from both parties are relying on large donors to fund their campaign. Meanwhile, voters on both sides of the aisle are ready for reform. It’s time we start talking about solutions that put voters back in charge of our elections.”

The nonprofit’s analysis included the following candidates:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • Martin O’Malley
  • Rand Paul
  • Marco Rubio
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Donald Trump

PIRG advocates the institution of a small-donor matching system for presidential races. Under this system, small campaign contributions would be matched 6-to-1 with limited public funds for candidates who agree to a lower contribution limit.

PIRG’s analysis shows that, with such a system in place, contributions from the top 3.7 percent on donors would account for 9.1 percent of direct campaign fundraising rather than 50.9 percent. Additionally, contributions from donors of $200 or less would account for more than 79 percent of direct fundraising.

Do you think federal campaign finance regulations need to be changed? How do you believe they should be updated? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Popular Articles

18 Things Your Grandchildren Will Never Understand
18 Things Your Grandchildren Will Never Understand

How many of these once-familiar toys, tools and implements of a bygone era do you still have at your house?

11 Free Ways to Research Your Family History
11 Free Ways to Research Your Family History

Forget subscription-based genealogy sites. Use these free databases, instead. They are a treasure trove for family history researchers.

8 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave
8 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave

A microwave oven can be a busy cook’s best friend. But trying to heat these things inside a microwave can cause disaster.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Trending Stories