Presidential candidates rake millions in fund raising

Washington: With the primary season entering a critical phase, the leading presidential candidates have raised millions in funds from their supporters to use against their rivals. Topping the list is Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders with USD 46 million in March, followed by his party’s front runner Hillary Clinton with about USD 29 million.

The GOP presidential front-runner who is self-funding his campaign has allocated USD 20 million for the rest of the primary season, his rival Senator Ted Cruz from Texas raised USD 12.5 million in March, information submitted to the Federal Election Commission said.

Governor John Kasich of Ohio who has managed just one win so far, raised less than one third of that of Cruz. Interestingly, Sanders has out-raised his primary rival and front runner Clinton for three successive months.

“Bernie’s grassroots campaign has now out-raised Secretary Hillary Clinton for three months straight,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

“We’re honoured to have the strong support of 2.2 million passionate donors who have given more than 7 million times. It’s because of them that our campaign can take on the establishment and win eight of the last ten primaries and caucuses,” he said.

The Clinton campaign said it began April with about USD 29 million in the bank after raising more than USD 29.3 million in primary contributions in March thanks to more than 670,000 contributions from about 400,000 people during the month. The average donation was about USD 45 and more than 50 per cent of the USD 29.3 million came from grassroots online donations. Clinton now has more than 1,100,000 contributors.

“We head into the homestretch of the primary in strong financial shape with the resources we need to continue to run a competitive race through the end of the primary and the road ahead,” said Hillary for America Campaign Manager, Robby Mook.

Meanwhile Politico reported that Trump has committed USD 20 million to his campaign for the rest of the primary season. Trump’s main rival Cruz raised USD 12.5 million in March. He has USD 8.8 million in the bank at the end of March.