Check, please: Presidential campaigns have drawn almost $4M from Arizona donors

Mar 15, 2016, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON -– If Arizona campaign donations were ballots, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, would have the state’s primary sewed up.

With a week until the Arizona primary, recent numbers from the Federal Election Commission show Arizonans gave just under $4 million to 20 Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns through the end of January.

Rubio received $716,025 of that total, well ahead of Donald Trump – who still had a commanding lead over Rubio in Arizona in a recent poll. Rubio’s fundraising in the state was trailed closely by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who received $705,244 in donations from Arizona.

The Republican field raised just under $2.8 million, in part because of sheer numbers: 15 of the 20 candidates who reported to the FEC that they had raised money in Arizona were in the GOP.

Even though Arizona is a red state, the five Democratic candidates were still able to raise almost $1.2 million. Green Party candidate Jill Stein reported raising $3,250 in the state.

Jason Rose, a political consultant with RoseMoserAllyn PR, a fundraiser for the Rubio campaign, says he isn’t surprised Rubio has such a following in Arizona.

“He’s just a very dynamic and exciting candidate and he’s conservative without being crazy. He fits the Arizona profile, kind of that Jon Kyl profile,” Rose said.

Mike Noble, principal owner of MBQF Consulting, also isn’t surprised.

“The movers and shakers have lined up behind Marco because he seems to be the establishment choice, he’s the one that matches up the best with Hillary Clinton, and frankly he’s been the best organized in the finance game here in Arizona,” Noble said.

Second in line on the Republican side was surgeon Ben Carson, who got $583,059 from Arizona. He officially dropped out of the race on Friday, after trailing badly in early primary states.

But, Rose wasn’t surprised by Carson’s placing second to Rubio, either.

“Ben Carson is a good person, he enjoyed strong polling numbers for much of the year and he raised a staggering sum of money from across the country, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that he would have done very, very well here,” Rose said.

Carson was followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who got $526,588, billionaire developer Donald Trump’s $46,698, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who raised over $38,796.

Noble’s firm released a February poll that gave Trump a comfortable lead in the upcoming March 22 primary with 34.8 percent of the vote, Rubio at 22.7 percent, Cruz at 14.1 percent, Kasich at 7.1 percent and 21.3 percent as unsure or undecided. The poll, taken Feb. 22, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.61 percent.

Bill Scheel, a political consultant with Javelina, isn’t surprised that Rubio’s leading in Arizona fundraising, even though Trump is clearly ahead in the polls.

Scheel said even though Trump is winning the Republican nomination, he hasn’t been soliciting funds and this makes him an anomaly in this election.

“Rubio clearly has the most robust national fundraising effort and Rubio’s had a pretty good effort here in Arizona and so again, it would make sense that he would be leading,” Scheel said.

Rubio is scheduled to be in Arizona for a fundraiser March 18, just four days before the state’s primary.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, raised more than $464,243 from Arizona, coming on especially strong in January, when he brought in $140,000 for that month alone.

“Bernie Sanders just caught fire everywhere. It’s very impressive what he’s been doing because it has been so overwhelmingly done through small donations,” Scheel said.

Noble agrees that Sanders’ grass-roots approach is having an impact, adding that a $20 donation would be a big donation in Sander’s eyes.

“He’s got that populist message, it’s just been due to his message, I think his message is resonating with a lot of folks when he starts talking about minimum wage and free college tuition,” Noble said.

What of the rest of the presidential candidates? Like the Carson campaign, they were not such a good investment for Arizonans, who donated $895,157 to 13 candidates – in addition to Carson – who have since dropped drop out of the race.

“It’s a little bit like giving Christmas gift to one of your relatives – on the big day and they open it up and there’s not a lot of smile on their face. It’s disappointing,” Rose said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona Election

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake takes the stage with former President Donald Trump at a J...
KTAR.com

Donald Trump sets Oct. 9 rally in Mesa for Kari Lake, Blake Masters, others

Former President Donald Trump announced plans Friday to hold a rally for his preferred Arizona candidates in Mesa on Oct. 9.
15 hours ago
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a press conference promoting school voucher expansion on Sept...
Kevin Stone

Arizona school voucher opponents fall short in bid to block expansion

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Friday that the effort to block school voucher expansion by voter referendum has fallen short.
15 hours ago
(From left: AP Photo/Gregory Bull; Facebook Photo/Katie Hobbs)...
KTAR.com

Katie Hobbs says container wall at border gaps not best use of Arizona resources

Democratic candidate for Arizona governor Katie Hobbs said state resources at the southern border would be better used on measures that weren't "political stunts," referring to shipping containers put in place at wall gaps.
2 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Luke Forstner

Prop 209 would make changes to Arizona’s debt collection rules

Arizona's Prop 209 aims to protect people with loans when they are struggling to pay, but opponents say it would make credit harder to get.
2 days ago
Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event in Phoenix on Aug. 1,...
Kevin Stone

Blake Masters thinks independents will back him over Sen. Mark Kelly

Blake Masters, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, said Wednesday he thinks the key independent bloc will support him in his effort to unseat Sen. Mark Kelly despite recent polling showing otherwise.
3 days ago
FILE - Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol...
Kevin Stone

Maricopa County attorney says court ruling didn’t resolve Arizona abortion law

Maricopa County’s top prosecutor said Tuesday that last week’s court ruling on abortion didn’t resolve the issue of what the law actually is in Arizona.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Check, please: Presidential campaigns have drawn almost $4M from Arizona donors