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Bernie Sanders would be the big winner in new public-funding model

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on September 24, 2015 at 9:39 PM

Originally published on September 22 by Peter Overby on MPR News.

What would it take to make the White House wannabes stop chasing after big donors? From 1975 to 1999, the answer was federal matching funds — money that candidates could get by raising more money from small donors and spending less time schmoozing with the well-heeled.

Now, the U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund, an advocate of more limits on campaign money, has produced a model of how that would affect the early stages of the 2016 race. The analysis assumes a 6-to-1 match, so the match would turn a $200 contribution into $1,400 for the candidate.

First the results, then the caveats.

The results:

    The big winner — Sen. Bernie Sanders. In the first half of 2015, he got 77 percent of his money in small contributions, that is, $200 or less. Hillary Clinton raised about 3 1/2 times as much as Sanders, but just 13 percent came from small contributions. With matching funds, Sanders would end up with $83 million, Clinton with $89 million.

    The big loser — Republican Jeb Bush. He would be the only contender to come out with less money. It reflects the top-heavy profile of Bush's fundraising: 88 percent of his money came from donors who gave $2,700, the legal limit. Republicans who would benefit most are Sen. Ted Cruz and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The caveats:
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Read the full story here: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/09/22/npr-campaign-money