The upcoming presidential election could carry a $5 billion price tag, say fundraisers and bundlers who are already scrambling for campaign dollars, as several potential candidates who are proven fundraising powerhouses are already trying to secure donors' contributions.
Don Peebles, the top fundraiser and real estate mogul who worked on President Barack Obama's national finance committee, is predicting that potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign would see "record-breaking" totals, reports The Hill
Some have put those totals as high as $2 billion, The Hill said.
But Clinton isn't the only potential candidate who can attract big donors and spend big money trying to get elected. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, has proven himself as an outstanding fundraiser, as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
All are already throwing jabs at each other, even though nobody has officially announced their intentions to run.
Peebles, however, is predicting Clinton will see "significant fundraising ... She has a very strong capacity to raise significant funds."
But Bush is also "a tremendous and effective fundraiser" who will also bring in large amounts of money if he runs, said Peebles.
"I sense a lot of excitement about his candidacy,” he said. “I see that in Florida and I’m seeing that in New York.”
But Peebles will likely rush to finance Clinton
when she announces, in a show of strength not seen since President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, insiders are saying.
"The floodgates are going to open immediately
, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team," Peebles told The Hill. "There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close."
"It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen," said another top donor, who supported Obama and now plans to put money behind Clinton. "The numbers will be astounding."
Overall, the 2016 race could reach the $5 billion total between all campaigns, expenditures and third parties, said Peebles, which would be about twice as much as the estimated $2.6 million that was spent in the 2012 race.
Back then, Romney's campaign spent $433.3 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings from the Center for Responsive Politics, with the Republican Party pushing the Republican totals to $1.24 billion.
President Barack Obama's campaign spent some $683.5 million toward his reelection, and his party and outside groups brought the total to $1.1 billion, the filings show.
Another major Democratic fundraiser told The Hill that the totals will more likely not go above $3 billion, but a GOP strategist for a super PAC said his party's candidates will throw in a "dollar for dollar" match against Clinton and the Democratic Party.
"The 2016 election cycle will be more compact for Republicans, which makes early money even more important," one top Republican fundraiser said.
Back in 2008, though, when Clinton and Obama were competing against each other for the party's nomination, Obama pulled in much more money through digital advertising and small donors. This time around, allies say Clinton could raise some $800 million from digital advertising.
Already, the Ready for Hillary super PAC has raised more than $11 million and Priorities USA Action, which raised upward of $65 million for Obama in 2012, now plans to back Clinton.
But even though Clinton is seen as the front-runner in the upcoming race and in fundraising, Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC, which backs Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) to enter the race, said there is space for somebody besides Clinton.
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