Money and Democracy

Published — August 7, 2008 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Tracking the great bundler migration: Democratic edition


So, Rudy Giuliani’s bundlers have proven the most generous to the new Republican nominee, rewarding John McCain with at least $3.25 million. On the other side of the aisle, who’s been most successful at getting bundlers to pony up for Barack Obama? (Hint: Don’t look to Hillary.)

Worth keeping in mind: McCain reports his top bundlers in four groupings: $50K-$100K, $100K-$250K, $250K-$500K and $500K-plus. This gives a better sense of how much each individual is raising than does Obama’s system. The presumptive Democratic nominee only marks his top bundlers in three groups: $50K-$100K, $100K-$200K and $200K-plus. Thus, comparisons between the two parties aren’t exact. All information on the former candidates bundlers comes from Public Citizen via the website; all information on Obama’s bundlers comes from his campaign website.

  • Two candidates from the Democratic Party — Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich — went without bundlers on their quixotic runs to the White House. Gravel, in fact, raised only $510,278, a sum eclipsed by many individual bundlers from other campaigns.
  • Another two candidates, Senator Joe Biden and Governor Bill Richardson, had 14 bundlers apiece — but not one has moved on to bundle for Barack Obama. Odd, considering both have been mentioned as potential VP choices. Guess money isn’t everything.
  • Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd had only 12 bundlers, and only one of them — Jane Hartley of New York — has joined Obama’s bundling team. However, she has assembled at least $200,000 for the Illinois pol.
  • John Edwards had the most bundlers on the Democratic side with 665. Perhaps not coincidentally, he now has the most bundlers supporting Obama on this list: seven. They’ve bundled between $800,000 and at least $1.2 million for the Obama campaign.
  • Meanwhile, Senator Hillary Clinton may be preaching party unity, but it’s sure not taking the form of sharing bundlers. Only two of her 323 big money donors have come over to bundle for Obama, and one of those is Doug Haloftis, a bundling omnivore. At various times over election season, Haloftis has bundled for Edwards, Clinton, and Obama. Clinton’s bundler’s contributions to Obama fall somewhere between $150,000 and $300,000.

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