Getting on stage for the debates is Priority No. 1
Monday, Carly Fiorina’s campaign announced they’d raised a total of $1.4 million dollars since their early May launch. But $1.4 million is a drop in the bucket compared the fundraising of a few other Republican presidential contenders.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “In an email entitled “Momentum,” Frank Sadler, her campaign manager, reminded supporters Mrs. Fiorina’s campaign “launched from a standing start,” and took a glancing shot at Republican front runner Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents.”
“Until she announced her candidacy, Carly was leading two highly effective charitable organizations,” he wrote. “She was not building the political infrastructure that other presidential candidates spend years (or generations) to cultivate.” He doesn’t mention the fundraising number—which covers money raised through June 30, the end of the second quarter—until the second page of his memo.
Mrs. Fiorina, who is considered a longshot candidate for the GOP nomination, is winning 2% of Republican primary voters’ support, according to a RealClearPolitics average of five recent national polls.
Sadler isn’t wrong. Baring the ground game Fiorina built in her failed Senate run, her campaign started without much of a foundation. Now that Fiorina is fully invested in the race, the wisdom of jumping in cold is a discussion for another time.
The fundraising news isn’t all dismal for Fiorina. Super PAC “CARLY for America” has raised $3.4 million, more than twice that of her official campaign. To keep her campaign operation lean, Fiorina outsourced a chunk of traditional campaign operations to the Super PAC. Tasks like rapid response, event planning, and even fundraising are PAC responsibilities, according to the Washington Post.
The National Journal explained Fiorina’s campaign infrastructure further:
Her official campaign has shifted some of the most fundamental political tasks to the super PAC, from rounding up endorsements to assembling a ground game and even answering questions about Fiorina’s business background.
Indeed, the first Fiorina field office of 2016, in South Carolina, belongs not to her campaign but to her super PAC. When voters search for “Carly Fiorina” on Google, the first ad that pops up is for her super PAC, not her campaign. And on her recent New Hampshire visit, it was Fiorina’s super PAC that was advancing her events, even staging them with stickers and signage.
“It’s a modern approach to the ways campaigns are done nowadays,” said Leslie Shedd, spokeswoman for Carly for America, the pro-Fiorina super PAC with a name so indistinguishable from the official Carly for President campaign that the Federal Election Commission has demanded they change it.
The deference comes down to cash. The Fiorina super PAC is expected to have far more money: Fiorina’s friends and former colleagues in corporate America (she was the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company) can make only $2,700 in direct campaign contributions but can give unlimited sums to the super PAC.
“The actual Fiorina campaign has to be a bit more judicious with its resources than the super PAC does,” said Keith Appell, a veteran GOP consultant and senior adviser to the super PAC.
Innovative; I like it.
While there will be plenty of headlines focusing on Fiorina’s pocket change contributions, Fiorina’s focus seems to be getting a coveted spot on the crowded GOP debate stage. If Fiorina is able to make her way to the stage, the fundraising part will take care of itself.
Regardless of where she ends up in the primary, I’d love to see Fiorina on the debate stage. Not only is she incredibly well-spoken and arguable one of the the best spokeswomen us right-leaning gals have on the national stage; Fiorina has an incredible message of unlocking the potential in each individual that desperately needs primetime play.
Follow Kemberlee Kaye on TwitterDONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.