counting cash
The 17 Republican candidates have raised $162.5 million in limited donations in 2015. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

With fewer than 100 days before the Iowa caucuses, former frontrunner Jeb Bush still leads Republican rivals in campaign contributions. But his floundering campaign is not raising funds as vigorously as Hillary Clinton's, and other GOP candidates are slowly catching up.

Here’s a look at the top Republican presidential candidates and their day-by-day fundraising for July through September (Q3, as it’s known). The graphics show fundraising by the candidates’ campaigns and do not include money brought in by their associated super PACs. The total amount for each day includes itemized contributions -- donations over $200 -- found in each candidate’s Federal Election Commission report.

Why the sharp spike at the end of every chart? Candidates scramble for donations right before the FEC filing deadline. For that quarter, it was Sept. 30.



The graphic below compares the four Republican candidates who’ve raised the most money during the past quarter, according to FEC filings.

Even though he ranked fifth in recent polls and cut his campaign staff’s pay, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush still leads in fundraising among the 15 GOP contenders. Since officially launching on June 15, Bush’s presidential campaign has raised $24.8 million. Of that total, $13.4 million came in the July-September period. The day-by-day chart shows Bush leading in fundraising until the end of August, when former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, started to catch up. Bush ended the quarter strong, though, hauling in $1.2 million on Sept. 30. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio brought in $1 million the same day.


Bush may be the leading fundraiser in the GOP, but he still lags way behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state’s fundraising beat Bush’s every day in this quarter except Aug. 17 and 18. From July through September, Clinton raised $28 million compared with Bush’s $13.4 million.

When it comes to super PACs, though, Bush is miles ahead. Right to Rise, his super PAC, raised $100 million for his campaign between January and July. Whereas Clinton’s main super PAC -- Priorities USA -- raised $15.6 million in the same period.


Scrolling down to the candidates below the top four, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul have high name recognition but aren’t performing well in either polls or fundraising. New Jersey Gov. Christie leads this group for third-quarter donations. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Fiorina got a huge spike in donations on Aug. 7-- after being declared the winner of the first GOP “Happy Hour” debate, and again on Sept. 17-- the day after the second GOP debate. Compared to the day-by-day hauls of the other candidates, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, with $2.4 million, had a modest third quarter.


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have already dropped out of the race -- and this graphic shows why. Perry never really gained any momentum in campaign contributions during the third quarter. He picked up very slightly in August but pulled the plug on his campaign Sept. 11. Walker had relatively strong support in July but slumped in August and September. Walker quit the race on Sept. 21.


From July through September, real estate mogul Donald Trump ranked first in the polls, although he has now been overtaken by Ben Carson. He raised only $3.9 million between July and September -- but he’d been financing most of his campaign himself until this quarter, when donations outpaced funds from his coffers. Other than an online fundraising campaign in August, Trump hasn’t wooed deep-pocket donors or held multiple fundraisers, as other candidates have. According to his campaign, most of his third-quarter money came from unsolicited small-dollar contributions, which wouldn’t be included in these totals.


The graphic below shows the 10 candidates who participated in the Oct. 28 debate. Worth noting: Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been raising more campaign cash than Rand Paul and Donald Trump and has been steadily catching up to the other candidates.