Perry, Santorum presidential hopes undercut by own donors

August 25, 2015 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The two returning Republican presidential candidates have struggled to keep their own donors interested.

A majority of the 2012 donors to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum who’ve given this time have defected to other candidates, according to an analysis by, a nonpartisan political research company.

The donor disloyalty is contributing to financial woes in both of their campaigns. Perry stopped paying most of his staffers, and much of Santorum’s top staff left to start a super PAC, which is free of contribution limits.


As the only two members of a 17-person presidential field who competed in 2012, Perry and Santorum should have among the strongest, most up-to-date fundraising bases. Santorum won 11 primary states, lasting until April 2012 when Mitt Romney secured the nomination. Perry bowed out in January but was a strong early fundraiser.

But four years later, many of their donors have eyes for others: Perry counted 470 return supporters, while 557 went with other candidates. For Santorum, 257 of his past presidential contributors gave to him again, while 414 put their money elsewhere, the data show.

For its donor loyalty assessment, Crowdpac reviewed Federal Election Commission data on contributors to the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. The data included only named donors, typically those who give at least $200 per election cycle. The figures are current through the end of June.

For both Perry and Santorum, the most popular 2016 alternative is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who welcomed 380 of their previous contributors. One oddity: two 2012 Perry donors decided to support Santorum this time.

Perry’s campaign raised just over $1 million and Santorum about $600,000 in the first month of their campaigns. By comparison, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush raised $11.4 million in the initial two weeks of his campaign, and Cruz raised $4.3 million in his opening week.


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