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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages

With bipartisan support, this bill could help millions of workers and retirees boost or conserve their retirement savings.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022
What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022

Recent inflation figures were ugly. Here’s what they hint about the next Social Security benefits adjustment.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.