Last week, the 2016 presidential candidates were required to file financial reports on the donations they’ve received with the Federal Elections Committee (we’ve analyzed that information and presented it in our Money Race Tool).
Although the disclosures contain nothing that suggests the influence of big-money power brokers is waning, they show that small-dollar donors (people giving less than $200) are rewarding candidates with campaigning on populist, anti-establishment rhetoric.
Democrat Bernie Sanders, who has campaigned on themes such as reducing income inequality and strengthening the middle class, leads the pack reporting 76.7% of his donations from small donors. Taking second place is Republican billionaire Donald Trump, who received 70.1% of his donations from small donors...unsolicited.
Small donors chipped in at the third highest rate at 62.7% for neurosurgeon, and proud Washington outsider, Republican Ben Carson. Though Trump outraised in this category on the GOP side, Carson surpassed Trump in total money raised with an impressive $27 million lead.
Who’s not winning the money race among the small donors? Some notable losing candidates are Republican Jeb Bush with a mere 5% of his total funding from small donors and Democrat Hillary Clinton with 17.3%. These two are the frontrunners for total funds raised, with Bush’s mammoth $128 million and Clinton’s $93 million dwarfing the funds raised by the other candidates. Interestingly, these two rank 2 and 3 for the candidates with the biggest Wall Street backing.
Will small donors exert any influence on the 2016 outcome? Don’t wait to find out:
Editor's note: This analysis originally published on Crowdpac's blog and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN.