Many members of the donor class would be happy with either a Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio presidency.
The Washington Post–summarizing an Associated Press review of federal campaign finance records–notes that at least 60 members of the donor class chose to give to campaigns on both sides of the political spectrum.
“While those contributions totaled only $300,000, they are an odd wrinkle of presidential politics in a race expected to see 22 candidates vying for billions of dollars in contributions,” The Washington Post writes.
One donor, who gave to both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, told The Washington Post that, “If either of them became president, I’m happy.” The Washington Post reports that this donor is, “also interested in a third contender: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican whom he’s met with the senator’s father.” Rubio currently leads the Republican candidate pack in terms of cash-on-hand.
The proclivity of large donors and corporations to spread their money around both parties underscores the difficulty in separating out the policy differences between Jeb, Rubio, and Clinton on several issues of importance to voters: all three support giving citizenship to illegal immigrants (though Bush has slightly distanced himself from this recently) and both Jeb and Rubio have embraced the global trade pact negotiated by Obama, which Clinton described in 2012 as, “the gold standard in trade agreements”.
Donors now worry that the perception of being labeled an “Establishment” donor-class candidate has begun to tarnish their choice candidates. That’s why many of Bush’s top fundraisers have reportedly already begun to abandon Bush in favor of Rubio—apparently believing that while Bush and Rubio have the same policies, Rubio is better at getting conservatives to go along with those policies – evidenced by Rubio’s “charm offensive” that won early support for the Gang of Eight’s plan to triple the nation’s admission of green cards.
Rubio continues to pitch immigration to the donor class behind closed doors and has gained the support of Larry Ellison, whose company also endorses Rubio’s plan, known as the I-Squared bill, to triple H-1B visas and further expand green card opportunities for immigrants from Asia and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, voters skeptical of the donor class are continuing to line up behind Donald Trump.