The candidates are without question very important in the 2016 Presidential race, after all one of them will end up deciding the fate of the U.S. for many years to come. However, they might not actually be the most important “players” in the process.
The campaign and election process is a complex beast that is full of all kinds of complexities that normal folks have a hard time understanding. However, there is one thing everyone can easily understand, money, and money is always a large part of what gets a candidate elected or sent home.
Many years ago, candidates relied on raising funds from individuals and organizations that were largely made up of what now would be considered relatively small amounts. In today’s political world, campaigns are won and lost with the help of super PACs and nonprofit organizations. According to the Washington Post, from April through June of this year, super PACs accounted for raising 80% of all the funds raised by Republican candidates. This obviously a huge majority of the money circulating through the campaigns and it is easy to see the huge impact super PACs have on the race.
This trend has only grown stronger in recent years and at a staggering pace. The numbers cited above are more than fifteen times as much compared to a similar period in 2011, based on statistics from Bruce Mehlman, a Republican consultant and lobbyist. While some super PACs have been very active and already chosen their candidate, some have stayed largely on the sidelines and are waiting until the final candidates that actually have a chance to win the race have been presented.
Therefore, if you want to know who will win the GOP nomination, it might be easier to figure out by watching the super PACs instead of the candidates and polls. When some of the big players decide to influence the race and begin pouring money into the campaign of their chosen candidate, it will very likely change things in a big way.
Here is a list of a few big names to watch that have the money and billionaire status to change the picture of the GOP Presidential Primary.
The Koch brothers are well-known in the political arena and are big players in the world of super PACs and nonprofit organizations. They normally stay out of the GOP Primary in the early going but look for them to begin making moves later, especially if Trump remains in the lead and he is not their chosen candidate. The Koch brothers almost always have a hand in major GOP elections in one way or another, sometimes you just have to look deep enough to find it.
Adelson spent the more money than anyone else on the presidential race of 2012 and will have a large effect on 2016 as well. The ninety-three million he spent in 2012 surely has every campaign at his doorstep hoping to gain his admiration. He has helped candidates in the past pull out wins in races they might have otherwise lost, such as Newt Gingrich staying in congress his last few years.
Mcnair is best known as the owner of the Houston Texans of the NFL. However, he is a big contributor and major player with super PACs who is known to funnel money to his candidate early and often. McNair has made moves in the early going of the GOP race but is not opposed to changing his mind once the landscape changes. That means he can move the direction of super PAC money at any time.
Ricketts toyed with the idea of spending ten million dollars in 2012 to oppose Obama and to reveal his relationship with Jeremiah Wright. While he is known in business circles as the founder of the wildly successful investment firm TD Ameritrade, he is a mover and shaker in the super PAC world as well.
As they say with many things, if you follow the money you will find what you are looking for, and that is certainly true much of the time with presidential politics. The super PACs will surely have a much bigger impact on the GOP primary than perhaps many realize and if you want to figure out where the race is headed then just watch the big players. The names listed above certainly are not the only ones involved but they are some of the biggest and most influential.