Hillary Clinton Raises $45 Million In First Fundraising Quarter

With the end of the FEC reporting quarter coming at midnight last night, we’re starting to get the first fundraising reports from campaigns. Not surprisingly, the first report came from Hillary Clinton’s camp and it showed her bringing in a record amount over the past three months:

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign expects to have raised more than $45 million since starting her campaign in April, according to a campaign spokeswoman speaking ahead of the Federal Election Commission filings, a figure that would mark a record start to presidential fund-raising in history.

The $45 million figure, far more than she reported raising during the first few months of her last White House bid, is very likely to be more than any of her Democratic or Republican rivals raise for their campaigns. But it also reflects her dominance of the Democratic field: Unlike in 2007, there are no other Democratic candidates with substantial reach into the elite tier of Democratic donors and bundlers, and thus little competition.

And her campaign would not disclose what proportion of her donations came in the form of small donations, a critical measure of her grassroots appeal and ability to compete financially over the long haul.

Mrs. Clinton has been on a breakneck fund-raising schedule across the country to raise money and lay out her agenda at dozens of fund-raisers, many held in the penthouses or sprawling suburban homes of her leading donors. The campaign’s “Hillstarters” program has been tapping a growing network of bundlers to raise $27,000 from friends, each of whom were asked to give the maximum donation for the primary campaign of $2,700.


Mrs. Clinton’s supporters argued that the quarterly number demonstrated the effectiveness of the campaign’s early fund-raising strategy, focused on bringing in new donors and bundlers and making senior campaign staff accessible to those raising money for Mrs. Clinton.

“I think the message is clearly there that every contributor is a voter,” said Ira Leesfield, a Florida trial lawyer who hosted a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton late last month. “They’re really emphasizing reaching out to a broad base. They see that the small contributors, and people who are not giving to PACs, are being treated very well.”\

At the moment, all the money the campaign is raising is going toward the primary campaign rather than some of it being designated for General Election purposes. In that respect, this one quarter likely represents more than Clinton’s Democratic opponents will raise combined throughout the entire nomination fight. That doesn’t decide the election, of course, but it is an indication of just how strong her support is among Democrats and just how unlikely it is that a candidate like Bernie Sanders is going to be able to compete with Clinton over the long haul between now and when the voting starts in February.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    91% of the donations were less that $100. Still, $45M is a pittance when the Koch brothers alone are talking about spending nearly $1B to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    @C. Clavin: That doesn’t tell us the total dollar amount coming from people donating at a grass-roots level. It’s a virtual certainty most of the $45 million came from moneyed interests buying campaign access, as is now standard for America’s corrupt political system.

  3. Avid sportman says:

    @C. Clavin: I don’t disagree, but I wouldn’t worry either. I doubt that Clinton is going to be outspent in 2016 and I’m sure will have plenty of wall-street money to spend herself. You can decide for yourself whether that is good or bad.

  4. humanoid.pand says:

    @Ben Wolf: According to her campaign, it has about 50,000 individual donors. We know that 90% of them are under 100 dollars- so that’s 45,000 people. Let’s say each donated 50 dollars. 45,000*50=22.5 million. Add to that donations from people who gave more than that, but are not millionaires (the modal Democratic donor is a university professor…), and you find that no, the bulk of her money comes from regular donors…

    [Of course, she still gets plenty of $$$ from moneyed interests- mostly channeled via Super-PACs. However, it’s the nature of the game- if Sanders wins, he will also set up one.]

  5. Slugger says:

    45 megadollars sounds like a lot of money, but Obama spent $1.2 billion and Romney a shade less in 2012. There about 450 days till the next election. Hillz has to raise $1.8 million every day to get to those numbers. Any serious challenger is faced by the same problem. This is more money than small contributions can reach. Plutocracy, anyone?
    I am turning into a monomaniac on the subject of money and politics. I am thinking about a self imposed commenting hiatus to prevent becoming a total joke. Is there a twelve step program out there?

  6. michael reynolds says:


    At present you are only .0000001% as repetitive as superdestroyer. You got a long way to go before rehab.

  7. stonetools says:

    This is so far from the eighteenth world of standing for elections, where gentlemen stood for election and certainly did ‘t go around asking for campaign funds, that I wonder what the founding fathers would have thought of this, or of the bizarre notion that campaign money is speech.
    We have got to reverse Citizens United ,before our political system becomes like Nigeria’s .

  8. Ben Wolf says:

    @humanoid.pand: The Clinton goal was fifty thousand donors, which her campaign went after with a $1 donation blitz. The 91% likely contributed considerably less than $22 million.

  9. Avid Sportsman says:

    @stonetools: Citizens United is a disaster but, in my opinion, the era of big spending started in the 2008 presidential election before that case was settled (to my knowledge citizens didn’t impact the 2008 election). Spending has obviously skyrocketed horribly since but don’t think for a second that no one noticed how well a very charismatic candidate Obama was able to fundraise and what the overall impact of that was.

  10. EddieInCA says:

    Somewhere in the depths of the Hillary2016 headquarters, the money guru’s have a very clear spreadsheet showing Obama’s fundraising figures from both 2008 and 2012.

    They’re focused on those targets, those donors, those individuals, companies, millionaires, and billionaires. They will beat those numbers because the technology for finding and targeting those people is 4 years better than last time around.

    Hillary will not be outspent for the Presidency.

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Remember: big money in politics is bad only when it is conservative money. Big money on the left is a wonderful thing, a celebration of democracy.