Wealthy investors shot skeet with Sen. Ted Cruz in Park City, Utah, earlier this month. Conservative lawyers gathered in a clubby Washington restaurant last week to raise money for his presidential bid. And on Monday, billionaire technology entrepreneur Darwin Deason and five other wealthy Texans announced they were coming aboard his campaign.
For all of his bashing of “billionaire Republican donors” who “actively despise our base,” the anti-establishment senator from Texas is being bolstered by his own robust base of wealthy contributors. Cruz raised $5.2 million through the end of September from supporters who have given him the $2,700 maximum – making him number two so far in the GOP race for large donors, after Florida governor Jeb Bush, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute.
Cruz’s unorthodox campaign has hit on a fundraising formula that no other candidate has been able to match: raising millions from a robust base of grassroots supporters while also building a substantial network of rich backers.
The senator’s quiet fundraising prowess could help give him staying power in what is sure to be a hard-fought battle for the GOP nomination. The structure of his donor base closely resembles that of President Obama, whose vaunted fundraising operation intensely focused on both low-dollar givers and major bundlers, bringing in record $783 million for his 2012 reelection.