Long-shot Democratic presidential campaign’s money problem

Long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee reported raising a little more than $390,000 in the second quarter of the year, but just $29,000 of that came from donors. The rest – more than $363,000 – was loaned from the candidate himself, according his campaign’s new report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Chafee formally declared his presidential bid June 3, but was able to accept contributions before that as he explored the run. Since April, Chafee raised more than $15,000 in larger itemized contributions and over $13,000 in smaller unitemized donations.

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Meanwhile, the former Rhode Island governor and senator made two loans to his campaign. One for more than $163,000 came in January and the other for $200,000 came in June after he kicked off his campaign in a speech at George Mason University in Northern Virginia.

Chafee spent $63,757 in the second quarter of the year, mostly on salaries for the campaign’s three paid staffers.

His bid against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was always going to be an uphill battle, but the report underscores the difficulty Chafee will have in merely keeping his campaign’s lights on without substantial injections of cash from his own bank account. Clinton recently announced that her campaign brought in $45 million in contributions over the same period.

However, Chafee will likely could choose to self-fund his campaign indefinitely thanks to his family’s wealth, valued at $42 million in 2006, the last year he served in the Senate, according to required disclosure forms. When Chafee ran for governor in 2010, more than 62% of the money he raised came from himself, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Hillary Clinton and Lincoln Chafee

Long-shot Democratic presidential campaign's money problem