Super PACs, attack ads and million-dollar donors

The money flooding the race for the White House

More than $400 million has already been contributed in the 2016 presidential campaign. Here are answers to six questions about the money race.

Who's raised the most?

Jeb Bush has raised about $50 million more than Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, thanks largely to the super PAC supporting his candidacy, which can accept unlimited contributions.




Who are the biggest donors?

Wealthy individuals — many of whom are executives in the financial services, energy, technology and entertainment industries — have given millions to the super PACs supporting candidates. Here are 86 donors who have given $500,000 or more.

Who collects the checks?

Super PACs and other nonprofit advocacy groups have accepted vast sums from wealthy donors, corporations and labor unions. These groups are allowed to back candidates but face some restrictions on directly coordinating with them.

Candidate committee Super PAC 527 501(c)(4)
Run by candidate Yes No Varies No
Takes money from Individuals, other committees Individuals, corporations, labor unions, other groups Individuals, corporations, labor unions, other groups Individuals, corporations, labor unions, other groups
Limits on giving $5,400 for individuals, other limits for committees None None None
Reports donor names Yes Yes Yes No
Reports to FEC FEC IRS under § 527 of the U.S. tax code IRS under § 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code

How's the money being spent?

More than $7 million has already been spent by super PACs and other outside groups to directly support or oppose a candidate. Almost $1.8 million has gone to oppose Clinton, paying for telephone calls and attack ads.

Name Oppose Support

Who's getting the small donations?

Donations of $200 or less have made up more than 80 percent of contributions to Sanders' campaign. In contrast, Bush’s campaign has received less than 4 percent of its funds from small donations.

Name Pct. small donations

Where do the donors live?

California, Texas, New York and Florida together provided more than half the sum of contributions greater than $200 to each candidate's official committee. Regulations require campaigns reveal those donors' addresses.


Sources: Federal Election Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Times research

Credits: Maloy Moore, Lily Mihalik