In the military we had a saying, "amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics." At one time the door of the XVIII Airborne Corps (which includes the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions) G-4 (logistics officer) had a sign that said, "the Corps will not advance beyond a line designated by the G-4." The same is true in politics. Amateurs talk about tactics but the professionals know that the life blood of a campaign is cash. You need it for political ads, for real estate, for communications, and for staff. Yesterday closed the reporting period for Fourth Quarter of 2015. Below are the candidates ranked by candidate committee cash-on-hand. Without further ado, let's go to the numbers.
Rubio had a strong fundraising quarter. His outreach to big money donors doesn't seem to have borne fruit just yet as his super PAC fundraising is weak.
Bush's campaign spending simply is not sustainable. He spent about $2 million more than he took in. He tapped out his $2700/head donors early and has craptacular small donor fundraising. The only way he fixes this problem is by knocking out other candidates and picking up their donor base. And even though Right to Rise continues to be a fundraising animal -- the $15 million it raked in dwarfs the PAC fundraising by any other campaign -- this is balanced out by its seemingly profligate spending: it spent $40 million more than it raised. At this burn rate, Right to Rise will cease to exist by the end of March.
Rich guys are notoriously cheap. That's how many of them got to be rich and it is how they stay that way. Trump's fundraising comes with the caveat that $10.8 million is a loan from Trump to his campaign. Trump doesn't have a super PAC. The lack of super PAC and the low level fundraising raises a lot of flags when you are dealing with a man who has made a career of spending Other People's Money.
The Carson campaign continues to resemble a scam more than a campaign. At this burn rate, the Carson campaign is broke by the end of February. The Super PAC is already broke. Carson is getting virtually zero earned media and the prognosis for him tonight is not great.
Fiorina can probably stay in the race as long as she want's to. Even if contributions totally dry up she's good for another quarter.
The only report here of even remote interest is John Kasich's. What happens to him depends entirely upon what happens in New Hampshire. If he does well there he will be able to compete in Nevada and South Carolina and will probably get an infusion of cash. He's intimated that if he doesn't perform well in New Hampshire he will quit. Rand Paul will be broke in six weeks. I suspect New Hampshire is his last hurrah. Christie is in the same boat as Kasich. A third place finish in New Hampshire and he can stay in the race. Fourth or worse and he's out. Huckabee can stay in until the SEC primary, then he's out. It is hard to see Santorum staying in the race past today. His spending shows Iowa was do or die for him. I'd like to find the people giving money to Gilmore because I have a couple of sweet deals to offer them.