Goldman Donations Shift to Marco Rubio as Jeb Bush Fades

AP File Photo: LM Otero

3 Feb 2016

According to recent FEC filings, top political donors at Goldman Sachs shifted their giving to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the last three months of last year.

Jeb Bush had been the top recipient of donations from the Wall Street investment bank. Donations to Bush shrank to a trickle as his campaign faded.

The most recent filing covers contributions and expenses between October and December. Marco Rubio’s campaign received $107,000 from Goldman Sachs executives. This number likely does not include donations to various Super PACs tied to Rubio’s candidacy.

One of the bank’s lobbyists, Joseph Wall, is a campaign bundler for Rubio. Bundlers collect donations from a variety of sources on behalf of the campaign.

In contrast, Jeb Bush’s campaign received just $2,950 from Goldman donors in the final three months of year. Prior to the fourth quarter, though, Goldman executives had donated $773,000 to Bush campaign accounts. Except for Cruz, Rubio and Bush, all other Republicans candidates received less than $19,000 from the bank in all of last year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
was the third highest recipient of Goldman donations, although his total amount is about half what Rubio raised in the final quarter. Since starting his campaign, Cruz has received $52,000 for his campaign from Goldman executives. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, worked for the firm in its Houston office prior to the campaign.The shift in Goldman donations is probably the earliest indication that donors are shifting from Bush to Rubio as the polls shift.

Rubio raised a total of just over $14 million in the final quarter last year, double the amount raised by Bush. Rubio’s total contributions in the quarter even exceeded his combined donations from the six months prior.

Rubio, however, spent more in the quarter than he raised. Rubio spent almost $15 million in the final three months of the year, far higher than the $9 million spent by Bush. Rubio closed out the year with $10 million in the bank, while Bush booked $7.5 million cash on hand.

Ted Cruz had the most money in the bank, ending the year with $19 million cash on hand.

The change in Rubio’s fortunes happened before his surprise finish in the Iowa caucus on Monday. The shift in donations from Bush to Rubio was a reflection of the potential of each campaign. Now that Rubio has overperformed in Iowa and finished a strong third, the flow of donations to the Florida Senator will likely turn into a tidal wave.

For whatever it’s worth, the Florida political baton is being passed from Bush to Rubio.