Candidates can use fundraising numbers to tell the story of their campaigns.
“In many ways, it’s like corporate quarterly earnings; it’s all about momentum,” said Ohio-based consultant Bill Burges. He has worked with Democratic campaigns.
“If you don’t have positive momentum, just like people might not like your stock, contributors might not like your campaign,” he said. “And that’s why they become so important, because they drive the future.”
And those numbers can drive the message. Hilary Clinton’s campaign said that she’s “thrilled” and “grateful” to have raised more than $28 million.
But her rival Bernie Sanders fell just $2 million shy of Clinton’s third-quarter total. That, too, is a story.
“It’s basically saying, ‘You should take us seriously, that this is not a gadfly campaign anymore,’ but that he’s one of the big boys,” said Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School.
Republican Ben Carson also announced his tally today. Carson took in more than $20 million.
“It didn’t take that long this morning for my inbox to explode with an email from Ben Carson saying that outsiders are really in this game, that he has the strength to win and the strength to carry on,” said Ron Christie, the CEO of Christie Strategies. He was a former special assistant in former President George W. Bush’s administration.
Christie said the other candidates may not have released their numbers yet because the news isn’t as good as they hoped. Another possibility?
They might simply be adding up their totals.