At first glance this picture from Fox13 promoting the Senator Ted Cruz campaign speech in Provo, Utah, might seem innocuous, but it’s not. Along with the campaign promotional swag being handed out to the rallying supporters, those with a keen insight into how modern 2016 presidential campaigns operate will identify something most observers miss.
Look closely at the campaign signage. Notice the absence of the “TrusTED” etc. backdrop and campaign graphic material; instead being replaced by “Keep The Promise” graphics in the backdrop and “Choose Cruz” handout placards.
What you’re seeing there is a (Provo, Utah) campaign event financed exclusively by the Super-PAC Keep the Promise (KtP), and not the Ted Cruz for President campaign.
Simply put, this is the first identifier of an official campaign that is quickly running out of money (burn rate, exceeding receipts), and needs to rely on Super-PAC big donor, corporate sponsorship, to keep itself afloat.
[This also explains the recruitment of the Jeb Bush financial team, and Romney’s Wall Street approvals]
The grassroots donors, the ordinary citizen, are no longer providing enough financial support strong enough to finance the candidates’ ongoing extended campaign need. Remember when we discussed “Proselytizing as an electoral strategy“? This was one of the underlying issues when focusing exclusively on a very narrow segment of the electorate.
The official Cruz campaign has already run afoul of the FEC rules on campaign contributions because they have a small donor pool which is giving excess contributions beyond the maximum $2,400 allowable. They have been warned to return the funds or be in violation of Federal Election Commission campaign finance rules – SEE HERE–
You might remember Carly Fiorina ran her entire campaign almost exclusively on “CfA” (Carly for America) financial structures similar to this Cruz “KtP” (Keep the Promise) event.
Fiorina had almost no donor money, grassroots money, individual campaign donations, that made her campaign viable.
She had to rely almost exclusively on Super-PAC funding which is essentially unlimited but also carries strict rules on how the candidate, and/or their campaign, may communicate/coordinate with the spending.
A few Wall Street billionaires can keep a Super-PAC funded, and supplant the missing contributions of the ordinary campaign. Unfortunately, this is one of the new realities in the era post “Citizens United” SCOTUS decision. However, a few BIG DONORS doesn’t add up to the millions of supporters needed to win an election.
The evidence of the Super-PAC now stepping in to fund the campaign events doesn’t mean the campaign has completely run out of money. However, it does indicate the campaign is burning through the ordinary campaign funds at a higher rate than the campaign receipts.
When combined with the growing visibility of diminishing polled support, and the campaign turning toward states that are far less ideologically favorable to the candidate – and when you add in the fact that Utah is one of the more favorable states for Cruz, you begin to see a picture of a campaign entering the final key stretches and being spread entirely too thin.
The Cruz campaign is a financial behemoth consisting of thousands of paid campaign workers and long-term financial obligations. There are many campaign financial obligations that are unlawful for a Super-PAC to finance or underwrite.
In addition, the coordination rules on S-PAC financial assistance present a tenuous risk when a campaign begins to rely upon them to set up campaign events.