Most polls are pointing to a second place finish for Ted Cruz in Iowa, but new fundraising data shows he has plenty of money to keep his campaign going in the weeks and months ahead.
The Texas lawmaker, who has lost his lead over billionaire Donald Trump in the Hawkeye State, raised $20.5 million in the last quarter of 2015, coming in second in the money race to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who brought in $22.6 million.
Meanwhile, the “Keep the Promise” super PACs supporting Cruz’s candidacy now have $32.2 million in cash on hand, second only to the PACs supporting Jeb Bush, which have $59 million. And Cruz’s personal campaign committee has $18.7 million in cash on hand, far more than any other Republican candidate.
The latest Federal Election Commission figures put Cruz second only to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in terms of total personal fundraising for all of 2015, $155.6 million to $89.9 million.
Even with a second place finish in Iowa, Cruz appears to be the best positioned financially heading into Super Tuesday on March 1, when voters in more than a dozen states, mostly in the South, go to the polls.
Cruz has made no secret he’s betting on the “SEC primary” to give him enough delegates to become the Republican nominee. And with such deep coffers, he can make a play for every state.
Compare that to other candidates, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who, despite increased poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire raised just $2.95 million in the fourth quarter and has only $1 million in cash on hand.
The former prosecutor is counting on a win in the Granite State to keep him viable, but it’s hard to imagine a victory there would be enough to put him on par with Cruz and give him enough money to be competitive in many of the March 1 states.
And while Bush raised about $155 million in 2015, the one-time frontrunner has just $7.5 million in the bank. On the other hand, his Super PACs are sitting on almost $59 million, meaning he can afford to stick around for a while longer.
Any jubilation in the Cruz camp should be tempered, though, as the two top Democrats in the race outperformed all the GOP. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised $37 million in the last quarter and ended it with $37.9 million cash on hand; her supporting Super PACs have just over $36 million in the bank.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who hopes to upset Clinton in Iowa, hauled in $33.6 million and has $28 million in cash.