U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign is bragging about their fundraising prowess, claiming the majority of donations are coming from the little people, with little amounts, and that his war chest is proof he’s a formidable challenger.
But, we took a deeper dive and here’s the real picture.
… Bennet’s campaign is saying that more than 80 percent of the donations they received last quarter were $100 or less, far below the legal limit. Exactly who is giving to Bennet, however, won’t be available for several days, as federal officials still are processing his fundraising report before making it public.
That may be true for this quarter, but overall his fundraising has been declining since 2014, in other words, his donations are down.
In truth, small contributions only amount to 8 percent of his total fundraising, according to The Center for Responsive Politics. Allow us to do the math — 92 percent of Bennet’s donations are coming from large donors.
Bennet has raised more than $10 million for this campaign as of the last filing in December, and had $6.7 million on hand.
That means that despite spending more than $3 million to get reelected, he was booed down during his own convention and acceptance speech, and his poll numbers are still in the dumps.
Considering his top donors are Pershing Square Capital Management with nearly $80,000, Oaktree Capital Management with nearly $77,000, and Blackstone Group with more than $70,000, his campaign should have been making better financial decisions.
And here’s a big shock, the League of Conservation Voters is his fourth largest donor with $67,000. Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck was sixth with nearly $50,000.
And while we’re at it, here are the top industries who have contributed to Bennet
- Securities and investments, $1,264,633
- Lawyers $946,101
- Leadership PACS $399,913
- Real Estate $370,282
- Lobbyists $284,849
Bennet claims to have raised another $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2016 with $6.7 million cash on hand. Which is impossible, as that would mean his campaign did not spend a dime during this quarter, despite spending more than $600,000 in the last. That would also suggest Bennet’s staff is not being paid, and we sort of doubt that.
The Post does explain how Bennet managed to raise so much money despite his declining popularity in Colorado.
Bennet’s cash advantage isn’t a shock. Big-name donors tend to favor incumbents — as they’re already in a place to influence legislation — and Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, is well-connected to contributors nationwide thanks to his stint as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a major fundraising arm of the party.
We did some further checking, and it turns out the majority of Bennet’s contributors are not from Colorado — 68 percent of the donations are coming from outside Colorado, while only 32 percent are in-state donors.
That certainly explains why Bennet was booed this weekend.