Skip to main content

Cruz Campaign Spends $5.5M in Second Quarter

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign spent more than half of what it raised during the second fundraising quarter, according to federal campaign reports released Wednesday.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, shakes hands at The Citizens United Freedom Summit in South Carolina, May 9, 2015.

Editor's note: This story was updated throughout on July 16 to include additional details on Cruz's expenditures.  

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign disclosed Wednesday that it spent about $5.5 million in three months, burning through more than half the money it raised in the same period of time.

The overall spending left the Texas Republican senator's White House bid with roughly $8.5 million in the bank as it entered July, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission that shows the campaign's finances from April through June. 

During that time — the second fundraising quarter — Cruz's campaign raked in just more than $10 million, a figure his team has previously shared. That followed a roughly $4.3 million haul over the nine days following Cruz's announcement in March that he was running for president. 

A network of super PACs supporting Cruz has already announced raising just under $38 million, giving him an overall haul of roughly $52 million. As of Wednesday, the numbers had all but guaranteed Cruz a second-place finish in the first round of the 2016 money race on the GOP side. 

Until Wednesday, a lesser-known variable was how much Cruz's campaign was spending and how quickly, known as the burn rate. During the second quarter, that number stood at 54 percent, slightly higher than former Gov. Rick Perry's 2016 campaign, which raked in a fraction of the money Cruz did, but started with less than a month left in the period.

A sizable chunk of the campaign's expenses — well over $1 million — appeared to come from the business of raising money, whether it be credit card processing fees or finance consulting. 

Another revelation from Cruz's report was that the campaign has just over $618,000 in debts, most due to California data company Cambridge Analytica. The firm has drawn attention following reports that it is owned by Robert Mercer, a New York hedge fund magnate and a top donor to a network of pro-Cruz super PACs. 

Otherwise, the quarterly report showed Cruz continues to have some pull among elite Texas donors as well as the small-dollar contributors who fueled his political rise. Like he did during the first quarter, Cruz got maximum money from billionaire backers such as San Antonio car dealer Red McCombs and Dallas investor Robert Rowling. At the same time, though, just under 40 percent of the campaign's donors gave $200 or less, signaling a grassroots appeal Cruz harvested starting with his 2012 Senate run. 

Like his foe Perry, Cruz appeared to lean heavily on his home state for campaign cash. But outside the Lone Star State, Cruz collected generous checks from New York supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis as well as an apparent donation from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, whose praise of Cruz earlier this year has been heavily promoted by the campaign. 

Cruz's bid also received significant support from Make DC Listen, a political action committee run by a former Cruz aide that funneled more than $70,000 to the campaign. Another PAC that chipped in big was influential pro-Israel group NORPAC, which sent almost $40,000 to Cruz's campaign coffers. 

Cruz's campaign had faced a Wednesday deadline to detail its second-quarter finances. The four super PACs supporting him do not have to do so until the end of the month.

Disclosure: Robert Rowling and Red McCombs are major donors to the The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics

Politics 2016 elections Ted Cruz