John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump, the final three Republican candidates running for president, began this month with drastically different campaign fortunes, new fundraising reports show. In one month, Cruz raised what Kasich has collected over the entire course of his long-shot bid. Trump has raised relatively little money as he "self-funds" his effort. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders outraised Hillary Clinton for the second month in a row, but he still started March with about half as much cash on hand as Clinton. Some highlights from the latest campaign finance reports, per the AP:
- Kasich had about $1.3 million in available campaign cash as this month began. Cruz continued to lap him fundraising: His $12 million in February roughly equals Kasich's entire campaign haul, dating to last summer, which includes $3.4 million in February.
- Trump loaned himself another $6.9 million, bringing his total self-loans to $24.4 million. Trump's campaign manager has said the candidate has no intention of trying to recoup the money. And while Trump continues to boast about self-funding his campaign, he collected about $2 million in new contributions in February, bringing his total raised this cycle to $9.5 million.
- Wealthy donors handed over $25 million last month to a super PAC backing Marco Rubio. And his campaign had its best month yet, raising about $9.6 million, though it still wasn't enough to prevent an embarrassing loss to Trump in Florida and keep his campaign alive.
- Jeb Bush spent $3.6 million before dropping out on Feb. 20, but he raised just $1.18 million over the month, including around $400,000 that he loaned to his own campaign, the Washington Post reports. Bush-allied super PAC Right to Rise raised $119 million over the course of the race and finished February with $16 million of it.
- Chris Christie raised about $420,000 in February. The Republican suspended his campaign Feb. 9, after the New Hampshire primary. His campaign ended with roughly $200,000 more in debt than available cash.
- Ben Carson, who dropped out at the beginning of March, raised $5.7 million in February and had almost $5 million in cash when he exited. He was the top GOP fundraiser of the 2016 contest at the time he dropped out, but he also maintained above-average costs for raising that money.
- Sanders' campaign raised more than $43 million in February, outraising Clinton by about $14 million. He continued to draw substantial support from low-dollar donors. In February, more than 60% came from people who had given $200 or less to federal candidates in this election cycle.
- But Sanders also reported spending about $41 million last month. The Vermont senator started March with about $17 million in cash, about half as much as Clinton's $31 million in available cash.
- Clinton's super PAC, Priorities USA, raised a little less than $5 million in February, half its January haul. Still, the group began this month with $44 million to spend and plans to save much of it for the general election.
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