Ben Carson’s campaign has done what few political insiders thought was possible when the former neurosurgeon launched his candidacy last spring: become a fundraising juggernaut.
The political outsider, now running only one point behind Donald Trump in recent polling, raised over $20 million dollars in the third quarter only. To date, the campaign has raised over $31 million.
“You know, the pundits all said that we would never be able to mount a national campaign for financial reasons, but here we are approaching 600,000 donations,” Carson told the Associated Press while campaigning in New Hampshire. “The people have gotten involved, and that’s something I think they probably never anticipated.”
The fundraising haul is not being fueled by mainly major donors, but by smaller donations and volunteers stepping up to be “bundlers” for the campaign.
CBS News reports that Jacquelyn Monroe, 45, is one example. The Georgian plays piano for a living and had never given a significant amount to politicians in the past, but decided to raise $100,000 for Carson’s campaign.
“‘It’s not something that I would normally set out to do,’ Monroe [told CBS News], who added she was moved by Carson’s authenticity and Christian faith and coaxed into collecting money from friends and business associates by his ambitious campaign staff. ‘$100,000-plus is a big deal for me.’”
Carson’s campaign reported raising $12 million in September alone, and a significant portion of that came in after the candidate indicated he would not support a Muslim who did not renounce Sharia Law for president.
The campaign brought in $700,000 in the 36 hours after he made that comment less than two weeks ago, according to campaign manager Barry Bennett.
“I would guess that we’ve outraised the Republican National Committee and many of our opponents maybe combined,” the campaign manager added.
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Now flush with cash, Bennett said the campaign has begun implementing plans to buy television ad space across the South for the Super Tuesday primaries on March 1, 2016.
“Sooner or later, they’ll have to realize there’s a new reality or they’ll pay the price,” Bennett said of the Republican establishment. “The outsiders are not going away.”
h/t: Business Insider