Ben Carson Is Still Raising Money Somehow

His campaign may have sunk in the polls, but Carson keeps pulling in the cash.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Ben Carson’s campaign raised $3.3 million in January. This is a fantastic sum for a candidate who has crashed in the polls, but a dismal letdown from the eye-popping fundraising numbers the retired neurosurgeon once registered. For instance, Carson raised $22.6 million in the final three months of 2015.

A source familiar with the campaign’s finances tells Mother Jones that though the numbers are not too bad, the campaign has been spending money faster than it has been coming in. On February 4, the campaign was $700,000 in debt after barely making payroll. The source said that 60 percent of the campaign’s staff has been let go, and more layoffs are imminent.

An upside for the Carson campaign is that donors apparently took sympathy on him after he was hit by Ted Cruz campaign’s dirty tricks in Iowa—most notably, the circulation of false rumors that Carson had dropped out of the race on February 1, the night of the Iowa caucuses. So far in February, the campaign has raised another $2.2 million.

“They’re giddy,” the source told Mother Jones, referring to Carson’s team. But, he added, most of the campaign staff is quite aware that the campaign is broke and confused as to how Carson will continue his presidential bid past the South Carolina primary. He says several of the campaign’s field staffers have already secured jobs with other campaigns and are just waiting for the final word.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate