Ben Carson Is Still Raising Money Somehow

His campaign may have sunk in the polls, but Carson keeps pulling in the cash.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Ben Carson’s campaign raised $3.3 million in January. This is a fantastic sum for a candidate who has crashed in the polls, but a dismal letdown from the eye-popping fundraising numbers the retired neurosurgeon once registered. For instance, Carson raised $22.6 million in the final three months of 2015.

A source familiar with the campaign’s finances tells Mother Jones that though the numbers are not too bad, the campaign has been spending money faster than it has been coming in. On February 4, the campaign was $700,000 in debt after barely making payroll. The source said that 60 percent of the campaign’s staff has been let go, and more layoffs are imminent.

An upside for the Carson campaign is that donors apparently took sympathy on him after he was hit by Ted Cruz campaign’s dirty tricks in Iowa—most notably, the circulation of false rumors that Carson had dropped out of the race on February 1, the night of the Iowa caucuses. So far in February, the campaign has raised another $2.2 million.

“They’re giddy,” the source told Mother Jones, referring to Carson’s team. But, he added, most of the campaign staff is quite aware that the campaign is broke and confused as to how Carson will continue his presidential bid past the South Carolina primary. He says several of the campaign’s field staffers have already secured jobs with other campaigns and are just waiting for the final word.


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as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

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