If you want to know the truth, follow the money. Or so says conventional wisdom.

The 2012 Republican presidential-nomination race is shaping up to be a three-man contest between Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney.

Paul’s support has steadily climbed. Romney is persistently the front-runner until the “flavor of the month” candidate displaces him. Gingrich may very well be the current “flavor of the month” candidate.

So who are they funded by? This question matters for two reasons. It betrays who the candidate would benefit because those individuals would presumably donate to the candidate. It may also betray who the candidates “owes” once he is elected.


48 percent from small individual contributions

Ron Paul for Congress Cmte, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Mason Capital Management, Microsoft, Boeing, Google, Overland Sheep, IBM*


43 percent from small individual contributions

Rock-Tenn Co, Poet LLC, First Fiscal Fund, Pull-A-Part Inc, Amway/Alticor Inc, State Mutual Insurance, American Fruits & Flavors, Streck Inc, Windway Capital, Wirco Inc*


10 percent from small individual contributions

Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Group, Morgan Stanley, HIG Capital, Barclays, Kirkland & Ellis, Bank of America, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, EMC Corp, JPMorgan Chase*

*From OpenSecrets.org: The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families.

Total Raised

Mitt Romney - $32 million

Ron Paul - $13 million

Newt Gingrich - $3 million


Romney notably fails to attract the so-called “99 percent” and relies heavily on the so-called “1 percent.” Gingrich and Paul were more balanced.

Romney has by far the most money of any GOP presidential candidates. Paul is third. Gingrich is woefully behind at $3 million, placing him 8th behind the likes of Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.  (OpenScecret.org’s data, however, ends on Sept. 30, 2011, which is before Gingrich’s surge that started in November.)

Romney is flooded with money from Wall Street, notably from Goldman Sachs.

Gingrich’s top contributor, Rock-Tenn, is a packaging company based in his home state of Georgia. His second highest contributor, Poet LLC, is the largest ethanol producer in the U.S.

Gingrich’s cozy relationship with Poet underscores his “deep ties to an industry whose government subsidies he has steadfastly defended even while running as a fiscal conservative,” according to USA Today.

Paul’s top contributors, interestingly, is the U.S. military. Paul is noted for his non-interventionist stance, promising to bring home U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world.

This suggests that at least some members of the U.S. military support Paul’s position.

MUST READ: Ron Paul 2012: Why He is Right on Foreign Policy