Dr. Ben Carson’s Cash Juggernaut

Politico reviews Dr. Ben Carson’s impressive fundraising efforts.

After outdistancing everyone else in the Republican field in the third quarter, Ben Carson rolled out another jaw-dropping fundraising figure Sunday: The former neurosurgeon announced he raised $10 million in October alone.
At the pace he’s setting, Carson — who’s surged into first place in several national polls, and leads polls in Iowa — would have the resources to last deep into the primary season, smashing fundraising expectations for an anti-establishment candidate without a built-in donor network. But it’s a big if.
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His last two quarterly reports show that so far, Carson has relied on pricey methods to pull in that money — in other words, he’s spending a ton of cash to raise a ton of cash. In the third quarter of the year, for example, it cost about 55 cents for Carson to raise each dollar, a stark contrast to other campaigns that spent more heavily on staff and advertising. If his fundraising costs don’t come down, those eye-catching cash hauls might amount to something of a mirage, campaign finance experts and campaign veterans say.

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