Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson continues to surge in a crowded Republican primary field, and the candidate’s record haul of campaign donations is proving the favorable results are no fluke.
One of three political outsiders in the race, Carson raised more than $20 million in the past three months, giving him a total of $31 million collected since he first announced his run, according to The Associated Press. He took in more than $12 million in September alone.
Carson’s team celebrated the record take at its suburban Washington campaign headquarters, complete with a red, white and blue cake with “$31,000,000.” emblazoned across it, AP reported.
Feeling confident, campaign manager Barry Bennett had a message for the GOP establishment.
“Sooner or later, they’ll have to realize there’s a new reality or they’ll pay the price,” he said. “The outsiders are not going away.”
How impressive are the numbers? The AP reported that the amount is “more money than what was raised by the GOP’s entire White House field combined over the same period four years ago.”
Carson spoke to the news agency Wednesday in New Hampshire and said his campaign is proving the so-called experts wrong.
“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,” he said. “The people have gotten involved, and that’s something I think they probably never anticipated.”
Bennett said the campaign will now start reserving television ad space in the early primary contests in the South.
He also predicted the operation will be keeping bakers busy.
“I would guess that we’ve out-raised the Republican National Committee and many of our opponents maybe combined,” he said. “There are going to be many more cakes to come in the future.”
But Bennett should guard against becoming too cocky.
The AP noted that through June, the Carson campaign was spending money faster than most other candidates, with the top five expenses related to fundraising — for direct mail, phone calls and online marketing.
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