Already? 2016 Hopefuls Buddy Up to Big Donors

Plus: Adelson donated way more than first reported

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 3, 2012 9:43 AM CST

(Newser) – The race for giant 2016 campaign sugar daddies is on. Already, potential GOP presidential contenders Govs. Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, and Bob McDonnell have met with casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who spent big on Republican efforts this year. Meanwhile, Democrats Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner have also met with potential big donors, as has Rick Perry. With super PACs dominating the money game, the early focus is now on the biggest donors rather than on the formation of a funding network, Politico reports.

"A group of five people could contribute $10 million each and finance a substantial primary campaign for a candidate," says ex-South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges. As if to underscore the new playing field, news is emerging that Adelson spent a lot more than previously reported on the 2012 campaign. He'd promised to spend $100 million to fight President Obama and the Democrats, but in the end, the billionaire shelled out nearly $150 million, Republican fundraisers tell the Huffington Post. As for who he'll throw his weight behind this time, rumor is he wants someone with "executive experience"—which could leave Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan out of the running.

In this July 29, 2012, file photo, businessman Sheldon Adelson is seated before Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Jerusalem.
In this July 29, 2012, file photo, businessman Sheldon Adelson is seated before Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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