Kasich's Ohio win garnered only modest donations

Posted at 10:47 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 22:50:40-04

WASHINGTON -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich scored a must-win primary in his home state last month, but the victory only modestly helped his campaign coffers, new federal filings show.

Kasich's campaign reported raising $4.5 million in March -- only about $1 million more than the previous month.

Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reported raising $12.5 million for his campaign, and a deep-pocketed Democratic super PAC backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported bringing in more than $11.7 million, increasing its haul this election cycle to more than $67 million.

PLUS: Kasich exceeds 'low' expectations in NY

Super PACs backing Kasich and Cruz each started April with only a little over $1 million cash on hand. And another outside group reported spending more than $11 million in one month alone as it tried to derail the candidacy of billionaire Donald Trump. That group, Our Principles PAC, also benefited from a six-figure donation from a super PAC backing Cruz.

Those were the early findings from reports filed with the Federal Election Commission ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline. The reports detail the financial health of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and outside political groups during a politically packed month.

On the Democratic side, March saw the race tighten between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while the GOP field thinned out after the exits of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and one of the Republican establishment favorites, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Highlights so far from the filings:


Cash Woes For Kasich, Steady For Cruz

Despite his March 15 victory in the Ohio primary, Kasich's campaign saw only modest gains last month, and it ended up much like where it started that month.

Kasich's campaign reported starting April with just a little over $1 million in cash on hand, about the same amount he had at the beginning of March.

Cruz's campaign raised $12.5 million during March, a month that saw him post several primary victories and solidify his No. 2 position behind Trump in the GOP field. Cruz started April with about $8.8 million cash on hand


Clinton's Air Power

Clinton-backing Priorities USA, a super PAC that says it plans to pour $125 million into ads supporting her, reported taking in $11.7 million in March, bringing the group's total haul this election cycle to more than $67 million.

So far, data from political advertising tracker Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group show the group has reserved more than $64 million in television ads scheduled to air from Aug. 2 through the day before the general election.

The group also said it will start airing other TV ads in June and plans to spend heavily on digital advertising to support Clinton and attack Cruz and Trump.

At the start of April, Priorities reported more than $44 million cash on hand. A group spokesman also says it has lined up an additional $49 million in "commitments" from wealthy donors.


Cruz's Money Pack

Trusted Leadership PAC, the predominant super PAC backing Cruz, reported taking in $4.5 million, the bulk of it coming from other super PACs and a pair of seven-figure donations.

Trusted Leadership was launched in late February and announced last month that it would serve as the fundraising umbrella group for a handful of Cruz-aligned super PACs.

Missouri-based Herzog Contracting Corp, an asphalt and pavement contractor founded by Bill Herzog, donated $1 million to Trusted Leadership. So did Richard Uihlein, CEO of shipping supply distributor Uline Inc.

The group's filing also reflected the coordination with other super PACS including a combined $900,000 cash infusion from Keep the Promise I and Stand for Truth, which both back Cruz.

Trusted Leadership finished last month with about $1.1 million cash on hand after spending $3.6 million during March. But the majority of those expenditures- nearly $1.4 million- were contributions to other Cruz-aligned groups.


Kasich's Backers

New Day for America, one of the super PACs backing Kasich, ended the month with only about $1.2 million cash on hand after pouring money into television and radio advertisements ahead of the March 15 Ohio primary.

According to Kantar Media's data, New Day for America spent nearly $1.3 million on television and radio ads in Ohio alone, part of about $2 million in airtime the group purchased last month.

Overall in March, the group reported spending $4.1 million on a host of political activities including fundraising consulting, voter contact and polling.

In its FEC filing, the super PAC also reported raising $2.8 million, the bulk of which came from a handful of donors.

Some of the group's six-figure backers included hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, who gave $400,000. Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert and hedge fund manager David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management L.P., both gave $250,000 as did Gordon Gund, CEO of Gund Investment Group.

Charles G. Butt, CEO of supermarket chain H-E-B, gave $150,000, and the super PAC also benefited from a $100,000 contribution from HJK LLC, a company controlled by former New York Post publisher and real estate developer Peter S. Kalikow.


Cash Against Trump

Our Principles PAC, a group established solely to oppose Trump's presidential run, brought in about $8.4 million including a $200,000 donation from the Cruz-aligned Keep the Promise I super PAC.

But Our Principles quickly tore through that money, spending more than $11.2 million in March and ending the month with just under $425,000 cash on hand. The group's filing shows that the bulk of the money went into anti-Trump ads, research and voter contact.