Ted Cruz’s presidential effort is getting into the shock-and-awe fundraising business.
An associate of the Texas senator, a recently announced presidential candidate, tells Bloomberg that a cluster of affiliated super-political action committees was formed only this week, and among them they are expected to have $31 million in the bank by Friday.
Even in the context of a presidential campaign cycle in which the major party nominees are expected to raise more than $1.5 billion, Cruz’s haul is eye-popping, one that instantly raises the stakes in the Republican fundraising contest.
Nick Confessore at the New York Times says the sum “could upend expectations in the race for the Republican nomination and rewrite the political rule book for outside spending.” He adds:
The size of the contributions is likely to force backers of other candidates to rethink their budgets for the primary season; other super PACs lining up behind Republican candidates had planned to raise $20 million to $30 million over the course of the entire primary campaign.
“It’s unbelievable; I don’t think anyone expected it,” said Dave Carney, a Republican strategist who worked on the 2012 presidential campaign of former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. “I don’t think in the first round anyone would have expected them to raise that much. It is going to change everyone’s calculation.”
It’s a nice start. The media will play up the involvement of Super-PACs but the real story is the amount. It took some of the wind out of the sails of Rand Paul’s announcement, and makes Cruz a formidable contender.