PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It’s safe to say donors aren’t flocking to help fund Lincoln Chafee’s presidential bid.
The former Rhode Island governor raised just $11,336 in outside campaign contributions during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, according to a Federal Elections Commission disclosure filed late Thursday. Just 10 individuals gave enough money to Chafee that their donations had to be disclosed.
Chafee has raised just under $40,000 since joining the Democratic primary race – a strong showing for a General Assembly candidate perhaps, but almost nothing in the context of a presidential campaign where major candidates raise tens of millions of dollars.
“I am disappointed in the fundraising but I knew I could never compete with the Clinton machine,” Chafee said in a statement issued by his spokeswoman. “I have always envisioned running a different kind of campaign by necessity.”
Still, it doesn’t appear that Chafee will be running out of cash anytime soon: the independently wealthy ex-Republican has loaned his campaign $363,694, and he still had $59,917 cash on hand as of Sept. 30. (Chafee and his wife, Stephanie, have a fortune of at least $38 million.)
As a comparison, Hillary Clinton’s campaign had $33 million on hand and Bernie Sanders’ campaign had $27 million as of the same date.
Only two individuals are receiving regular payments from Chafee’s campaign, both loyal longtime aides: Jonathan Stevens, who received $26,500 to manage his campaign, and Debbie Rich, who received $15,000 to handle communications. Most of the campaign’s other spending covered travel costs.
Chafee has never been a big fan of fundraising, but the totals for his quixotic presidential bid are notably anemic even for him. For example, during the second quarter of 2013, the final three-month period before he abandoned his bid for a second term as governor, Chafee brought in almost $70,000.
Chafee has dismissed calls for him to quit the presidential race following his widely panned performance in Tuesday night’s debate, saying he will keep running in order to continue to get his views out. He received a small boost Thursday night when MSNBC host Rachel Maddow defended him during her prime-time talk show.Ted Nesi (email@example.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He hosts Executive Suite and writes The Saturday Morning Post. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi