Ted Cruz’s Dumb Shutdown Stunt Hurt His Fundraising

Ted Cruz

Apparently, Ted Cruz’s shutdown stunt last fall is hurting him in the pocketbook:

Ted Cruz’s fundraising dropped sharply in the early months of 2014 after peaking during the government shutdown, a signal that his central role in that fight was a boon to his campaign finances.

The Texas Republican’s fundraising still remained strong in 2014 for a senator who isn’t up for reelection until 2018. But his coffers fell short of the heights reached during the fall of 2013, when he helped spark the first shutdown in 17 years by pursuing a strategy to defund Obamacare that drew national attention to Cruz and his conservative colleagues in Congress.

In the first quarter of 2014, Cruz’s main fundraising vehicle, the Ted Cruz Victory Committee, brought in $780,000, or 60 percent of what the same committee raised in the last three months of 2013, about $1.3 million. Cruz’s official Senate reelection committee brought in about $84,000 in the first quarter of 2014, according to aides, down from about $109,000 in the last months of 2013.

Cruz’s Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund leadership PAC raised about $143,000 in the first quarter of 2014, a rate outpacing the $207,000 the committee raised in the last six months of 2013. Those numbers include large transfers from Cruz’s Victory Committee.

According to the report, the transfer from Cruz’s Victory Committee amounted to $66,000 of the $143,0000 raised, or just over 46%. So, obviously, that PAC is also raising less money from outsiders than it did in the previous period.

To be fair, some of this drop off in fundraising could be the result of perople who might otherwise donate to Cruz shifting their donations to candidates who are actually running for office in 2014. However, that wouldn’t seem to account for such steep drops in fundraising in such a short period of time. Perhaps the people in the GOP who wite the checks are getting better at recognizing when someone’s ego is damaging their party’s long term interests.

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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:

    Screw that…it hurt the nations economy….it cost the economy $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor’s, and at least 120,000 jobs, according to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.
    I say we take it out of his cushy Senators paycheck.

  2. Elton Motello says:

    ” a signal that his central role in that fight was a boon to his campaign finances.”
    Boon means benefit or helpful. Stick a [sic] in it.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    and another thing ….

    It’s one thing to be a strong advocate for a conservative agenda that calls for reduced government spending, lower taxes and repeal of ACA, and it’s quite another thing to foment real instability in financial markets at home and across the world, by attempting to leverage that agenda against a possible default on debt securities of the American government.

    That is exactly what Cruz did and it had an effect – it caused instability in the equities markets, where individuals and institutional investors have invested trillions of dollars. Additionally, foreign governments have purchased trillions of dollars in federal securities and it is not generally considered to be a “best practice” to deliberately cause the value of those securities to be in doubt.

    Ted Cruz is a guy who acts and believes that he’s the smartest guy in the room, however, and to paraphrase what Joe Scarborough said of Newt Gingrich – if Cruz is the smartest guy in the room, leave that room.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    That…and he did it to fight Obamacare…the performance of which has proven Cruz to be wrong on every single point.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Speaking of which…
    Back in November Doug was writing 2-3 posts a week on the Obabacare internet site or the mandate challenges or something.
    Today Obama took a victory lap…8 million insured…and over 5 million still being denied the opportunity by Republican Governors.
    Doug’s response…
    I’m just sayin’

  6. Stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    One of these days Doug is going to read Freidrich Hayek, one of the fathers of libertarianism, and find out that he was in favor of universal health insurance. Dunno how a self-identified libertarian with a political science degree could miss reading Hayek, but he still has time to repair this gap in his education.

  7. Gavrilo says:

    Great post, Doug. Just one small criticism. Your premise is the exact opposite of what happened. Otherwise, you really nailed it!

  8. Matt Bernius says:

    Have to agree with @Gavrilo here.

    The data suggests that the “Shutdown Stunt” greatly increased his fundraising power while it was underway. Given the surge in funds during the Shutdown, it’s not surprising his Q1 fundraising was less.

    The only way we might be able to tell if the Shutdown hurt Cruz’s fundraising was if the article did a year over year comparison (looking at Q1 ’13 and Q1 ’14).