What the money haul reveals about the 2016 race

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 15, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BENJAMIN GINSBERG, FORMER WALKER CAMPAIGN ADVISER: It's a matter of being able to marshal their resources so they have money to spend on TV in the early states and, even more importantly with this calendar, doing the ground game, recruiting people on the very local level to be able to amass the delegates they're going to need to win the nomination.


BRET BAIER: Ben Ginsberg has a lot of experience, former Bush-Cheney campaign counsel, and also with Scott Walker who is no longer around in the 2016 race. But he's talking about fundraising. We're just getting all the totals now, updating them as they come in. There you see Ben Carson with a really big quarter, Jeb Bush announcing $13.4, Ted Cruz with a big pull as well, 12.2, and Carly Fiorina. Then you have on the second page Marco Rubio, John Kasich just announcing $4.4 million. That campaign saying they are only at a 40 percent burn rate which is lower compared to others. Chris Christie 4.2. Donald Trump just came out moments ago with $3.9 million. Remember, he is self-funding, but he's still got $3.9 million in fundraising. Rand Paul at 2.5. Those are the numbers we have as of now.

We are back with the panel. Charles, everybody talks about the polls, the national polls, the state polls, but, really this poll about money is really big. If you are not Donald Trump and self-funding, it makes a big difference.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: You know, do you have to wonder about the people who have been sending money to Donald Trump.

BAIER: It's 73,000.

KRAUTHAMMER: They must be very committed. I think that's really quite remarkable. He, of course, doesn't need it. I think the only numbers that really stand out here, are Ben Carson, who is an amazing fundraising machine. It's just from an enormous number of small donors. He doesn't have the big fat cats. He hasn't been doing a lot of events.
Bush's people say it's a disappointing number because compared with the rate at which he raised money at the beginning, he -- no, but he also raised, in the first two weeks he raised as much --

BAIER: You mean comparatively in the third quarter?  

KRAUTHAMMER: Right. He has had subsided a little bit the money flowing. And the others are doing well enough. I think we sort of overrate the necessity here. You need a certain amount of money to stay in the race. If you have it you are in the race. And then everything will determine or will be determined how you do in Iowa and New Hampshire. And then the money will follow.

BAIER: You know, when I mentioned that burn rate, some people may not follow me. Some campaigns have to spend money to raise money. And if the percentage of the burn rate is up at 80 percent, 90 percent, your cash on hand after that is obviously going to be diminished. So people like Ben Carson has a big number but his burn rate is very high.

KIRSTEN POWERS: The thing that struck me about this is the return on investment is so low for the people who are raising money. You have Jeb Bush is spending all this money, but what's it doing, really? You have people who aren't having to spend that much money. Donald Trump, for example, has hardly spent any money and is still at the top of the polls.

BAIER: Let's look at the Real Clear Politics poll as we are talking here, and Donald Trump is leading significantly. This is an average of all the recent poll, the RCP average, and just leave this up as we are talking.

POWERS: And so if you look, I think, in New Hampshire, Bush has been-- pro-Bush ads have been occupying 60 percent of political ad time there for the last three weeks. And he actually dropped slightly. You know, and so here you are spending all this money. You are getting nothing in return for it because people clearly want these antiestablishment candidates who are also doing quite well and raising money.

BAIER: We should also point out we haven't even seen the barrage of ads that some of these campaigns are going to unleash as we get closer to Iowa.

LAURA INGRAHAM: It's like the $130 million man versus the $4 million of Trump, the money he spends. I guess he is raising and spent $2 million.

Ted Cruz raised a significant amount of money. I don't know how much he spent to raise that money, but I think Ted Cruz doesn't get enough credit --

BAIER: It is clearly a low burn rate in comparison.

INGRAHAM: I think he gets really sizeable crowds. I think a lot of people are looking to him. But the poll that stood out to me was the CNN/ORC poll that came out today or yesterday in Nevada. Nevada -- interesting state, critical state -- 38 percent for Trump, six percent for Jeb Bush. I'm not like a math genius, but that's a six fold deficit for Bush.

So I think he has burned through a lot of his father's and his brother's contacts. And they were joyfully giving to the Bush campaign and still are. But I think it was The New York Times that said we have gone through that list. Now we have to raise more money from more people and you are down at six fold deficit to Trump, the guy who everyone said was going to fade in July.

BAIER: Quickly, that's the thing, he is not fading.

KRAUTHAMMER: No, he is not fading and he doesn't need a penny from anybody. I think the reason the advertising isn't having any effect is, number one, Trump is monopolizing all the free media. But second, the real advertising that actually works, we don't want to admit it because we are all goody too shoes, is negative advertising. And when the field is this large you can't do negative advertising because you don't want to know who to aim the artillery at.

BAIER: I bet you there will be some soon. That's it for the panel.

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