Tags: candidates | 2016 | republicans | money

Change in Campaign Rules Causes Flood of GOP '16 Candidates

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 12:54 PM

Why are so many Republican candidates, announced and as-yet-unannounced, running for the White House?

As the campaign season gets into full swing, there are more GOP presidential wannabes than you can shake a stick at, with at least 18, so far, indicating their intention to seek the nation's highest office.

Fourteen are listed in Real Clear Politics' roundup of polls, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush leading the pack, but with a large pack nipping closely at his heels.

So far, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton have stepped up to the plate, the National Journal reports.

And a major reason is easy money.

After the Supreme Court allowed political contributors to splash all the money they want into campaigns with its decision in the Citizens United case, "The Republican presidential candidates are set to crucify each other on crosses of gold," Dana Milbank wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.

Still a full year ahead of the Republican Convention in July 2016, in Cleveland, a kind of money madness has taken over the race, with Bush anticipated to bring in over $100 million by the end of next month, and Cruz, Walker and Rubio to raise $20 million to $30 million apiece, and the race for the White House expected to cost up to $5 billion, according to Democracy 21's Fred Wertheimer, the Post notes.

The deluge of cash has the effect of keeping candidates in the race who might otherwise already have washed out from a lack of funds, so that "a large number of inviable candidates are artificially subsidized — kept in the race by a beneficent billionaire, or even a friendly multimillionaire or two," Milbank writes.

While some candidates may be hoping for a vice presidential, Cabinet or diplomatic post, and others may wish to advance a particular agenda issue or have appeal to a specific slice of the electorate, boost book and speaking fees or just gratify their egos, the availability of large donor contributions has even seemingly weak candidates willing to take their best shot.

"It is a sign that with our political process awash in money, the financial barriers for entry aren't really there anymore. With so much money sloshing around, we are likely to see some fairly marginal candidates raising money comparable to the front-runners of just a few presidential cycles ago," the National Journal writes.

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Why are so many Republican candidates, announced and as-yet-unannounced, running for the White House?
candidates, 2016, republicans, money
Friday, 01 May 2015 12:54 PM
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