After Scott Walker left the race, the big question was who his financial backers would support.
His biggest backers — the Ricketts family, of Chicago Cubs-owning and TD Ameritrade-founding fame — still remain uncommitted to a candidate. But Walker was considered a serious presidential candidate with people in the establishment and in more conservative circles, as well.
So we ran the numbers with the latest campaign fundraising reports to see where Walker’s campaign donors have gone with the two candidates everybody speculated would get Walker’s donors (Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio) and two candidates that have fundraised well and might also get his supporters (Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz).
We considered a campaign to have "picked up" a Walker donor if that donor a. had contributed to Walker before he dropped out, b. had not contributed to the other campaign since April 1 (the earliest date covered by the July quarterly filing), and c. contributed to the other campaign after Walker dropped out on Sept. 21.
Finally, because FEC filings are long and complex, we used a script that matched first name, last name, and zip code to identify the donors; that’s a pretty good measure, but because we didn’t confirm each individually, though, we use the word “approximately” below.
(For more details on the methodology and findings, click here.)
Okay! With all that in mind, here’s where Walker’s donors went:
Jeb 2016, Inc. picked up approximately 17 Walker donors, who've contributed $40,750 since Sept. 21.
Marco Rubio for President picked up approximately 33 Walker donors, who've contributed $33,216 since Sept. 21.
Cruz for President picked up approximately 26 Walker donors, who've contributed $25,355 since Sept. 21.
Carly for President picked up approximately 27 Walker donors, who've contributed $24,100 since Sept. 21.
It’s pretty evenly split — there’s no clear beneficiary here where it comes to hard campaign cash. Rubio might have picked up the most, but not significantly more than Cruz or Fiorina, and still raised less from the Walker donors than Bush.
The Bush fundraising clearly is the work of a smaller group of donors either maxing out or coming close to doing so. For instance: Richard Graber, a senior executive at Honeywell, gave the $5,400 max to Walker on July 16. Then, on Sept. 28, a week after Walker dropped out, he gave the $5,400 max to Bush.