A Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign could cost $1.7 billion?
March 12th, 2014
02:26 PM ET
4 months ago

A Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign could cost $1.7 billion?

Washington (CNN) - With every passing month, the campaign to encourage Hillary Clinton to run for president grows.

And supporters at the Ready for Hillary Super PAC say they're turning up the heat.


The group, whose goal is to lay the groundwork for a Clinton campaign in 2016, currently boasts about 2 million supporters – but a Ready for Hillary source hopes that number will swell to roughly 5 million by the end of year.

The early collating and cataloguing of a base of supporters, largely through e-mail, comes after then-Sen. Barack Obama trounced the Clinton campaign’s social media efforts in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Ready for Hillary is also raising money for the campaign they hope to see.

They are bracing for an expensive campaign cycle, should Clinton choose to run. Craig Smith, a senior adviser for Ready for Hillary, has made an “educated estimate” that a 2016 campaign could cost $1.7 billion including spending by outside groups, the source confirmed.

The numbers were first reported by Time Magazine's Mark Halperin.

Stuart Rothenberg, the editor of the the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, said Smith's fundraising figure is both part real and part motivation.

"I can see them picking a figure that is at the outer edge of their estimates because they want to set a goal that is both reachable but also a bit of a stretch," Rothenberg told CNN. "You want your fundraisers to feel like they have to work hard and you want your contributors to feel like they need to reach."

During the 2012 election, Democrats – including outside groups and the Obama campaign – spent around $1.1 billion dollars to win reelection for Obama. Rothenberg said because of the 2012 spending, "you have to assume every campaign can spend at least 1.1 billion, they know how to do it."

"But for most Americans, anytime we get a figure that has a B in it, people's eyes glaze over and they just start shaking their heads," Rothenberg added.

Ready for Hillary raised $4 million in 2013.

Clinton has said she would make a decision about running for the White House by the end of the year.

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Ready for Hillary
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Tony D

    WOW... $1.7 BILLION??? Does that include or exclude all of the illegal contributions and Chinese money?

    March 12, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    That $1.7 billion figure seems a bit exaggerated. I don't see why that much money will have to be raised when there is no viable republican candidate. And when I say no viable candidate, I mean NONE! Not Rand Paul, Christie, Rubio, Bush, Perry, Cruz, etc.

    March 12, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. just asking

    so how is it legal for this shadowy group to funnel money to demorcat candidate elections if the stated purpose of this pac is to promote hillary clinton running for president?

    this looks and smells like illegal campaign contributions by the demorcats once again.

    March 12, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Nohow

    She is now more like Ralph Nader. Any money spent on a campaign for her would be a total waste of time and money.

    March 12, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House
    That $1.7 billion figure seems a bit exaggerated. I don't see why that much money will have to be raised when there is no viable republican candidate. And when I say no viable candidate, I mean NONE! Not Rand Paul, Christie, Rubio, Bush, Perry, Cruz, etc.
    --------------
    Think of the Koch funded smears and rumors and hate and misogyny and conspiracy that will be whipped up. She needs this money just to get the truth out and keep her progressive message in the forefront. Don't underestimate the power of artificial fear.

    March 12, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @just asking
    so how is it legal for this shadowy group ......
    --------–
    Here they come!!! Calling a group featured in many major news stories, with a full website and contact information a "shadowy" group is a great way to start a wild conspiracy theory. 10 points for murky fear, 5 points for no research, and 5 points for lack of facts!

    March 12, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward
    -----------------
    No. I will tell YOU what: I leave debating up to the TRUE debaters on this thread.
    People like Sniffit, Rudy NYC, The Real Tom Paine, rs, Mallory Archer et al. Folks that have the poltical background to carry a truthful conversation on this thread based on facts.
    I recognize that I come up very short to these types of people Fair, you should too.
    I have sat back and seen them mop the floor with you on a regular basis because your type of debate is based on suppositons, fallacies, and false equivalents with just enough truth to confuse the issue, and name calling if nothing else works.
    So no.
    I will continue to do what I do best with you: call you out with the truth whenever and wherever I can.
    Folks like you left unchecked can be dangerous if allowed to spread their fallacies, half-truths, and yes, self-created melodramatic nontroversies.
    I've said it before and I will say it again: Democrats (independents, liberals, moderates etc) should make it a habit to deal with so-called conservatives in government the way we deal with people like you on this site. It would certainly cutback on a lot of crap, fear, and misinformation amongst the general poplulace.
    Oh, and OUCH! (not) on the name-calling.
    -------
    If you have no knowledge of the issues, your comments are meaningless. Which, of course, was my point in the first place. Your coments have therefore become those of nothing more than a head cheerleader – again, meaningless. Thanks for your reinforcement.

    March 12, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Enough is Enough

    @Tony D "WOW... $1.7 BILLION??? Does that include or exclude all of the illegal contributions and Chinese money?"

    That excludes the Chinese investment and doesn't include proceeds from renting out the Lincoln bedroom......

    @Silence DoGood – Here we go with the Koch brothers....how about all of the union dollars? How about Soros? 0 Points for your post.

    March 12, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. just asking

    Silence DoGood
    Calling a group featured in many major news stories, with a full website and contact information a "shadowy" group is a great way to start a wild conspiracy theory.
    -–

    ohhhh, they have a web site and contact information well that changes everything! bwahahahahaha!!! who is running this shadowy group? calling the shots? contributing the hundreds of millions, or billions? who is funneling this money to other democrat campaigns? let them all come forward, disclose their names, affiliations and be interviewed. come out of the shadows.

    March 12, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Bea

    That's the reality of what campaigns cost in this era. Republicans will raise just as much money, or more, for their nominee. It's a bipartisan issue, thats' why there's so much outside money poured into these campaigns. Neither party can afford to turn their noses at PAC funds.

    March 12, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. I'm Ready for Hillary.... to come clean on Benghazi

    Hillary Clinton needs to fully explain her role that night as well as before and after. Incompetence, inaction, lies and cover up. Those four dead Americans deserve better. This woman has no business being anywhere near the White House.

    March 12, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Thomas

    We need campaign finance reform !

    1.7 billion is shameful to spend on power , ego and influence .

    Hollywood , Military and politics $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    March 12, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    More of what CNN isn't telling you:

    42 GOP/Teatrolls in the Senate tried unsuccessfully to filibuster 3 judicial nominees yesterday. They then voted unanimously to confirm their appointments today because the filibusters failed. Not a single vote was cast against confirmation. This proves beyond any doubt that the GOP/Teatrolls are JUST PLAYING GAMES WITH OUR GOV'T. They are petty, sniveling little cowards.

    March 12, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Robert Camacho - 2008 Hillary Clinton Delegate

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is the best qualified candidate to be President Of The United States.

    We are Ready for Hillary 2016.

    March 12, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. bill

    It must be killery week at ccn. 1.7 bill? The dems really know how to spend money....other peoples money..

    March 12, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    @I'm Ready for Hillary.... to come clean on Benghazi
    Hillary Clinton needs to fully explain her role that night as well as before and after. Incompetence, inaction, lies and cover up. Those four dead Americans deserve better. This woman has no business being anywhere near the White House.
    -----
    Explain all over again? The transcript is easy to find. Oh wait, you know the real truth is locked away in Area 51 right?

    March 12, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Hooper

    I'd have thought she'd be a shoe in, but the people of Florida, made a statement in their last voting session. The statement goes as follows. We're happy to be fed lies. We like being lorded over by those intent on taking our social security away from us. We're happy to allow corporate America, unlimited access to our thoughts and desires. We're republican, and we just don't get it.

    March 12, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    @just asking
    Silence DoGood
    Calling a group featured in many major news stories, with a full website and contact information a "shadowy" group is a great way to start a wild conspiracy theory.
    -–

    ohhhh, they have a web site and contact information well that changes everything! bwahahahahaha!!! who is running this shadowy group? calling the shots? contributing the hundreds of millions, or billions? who is funneling this money to other democrat campaigns? let them all come forward, disclose their names, affiliations and be interviewed. come out of the shadows.
    ------------
    You are right – they are hiding behind the secret "Federal Election Commission" where they are legally registered. Which is certainly run by the Illuminati. You know, actual concrete facts and verifiable accusations might help you remove the tin foil hat image. And I would cut out the maniacal laugh – that is a just creepy.

    March 12, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Chris-E...al

    Maybe the I.R.S. will give the Clintons a good shot below the belt to IF she runs ! Who no's her health might n0t hold up for a run ? 0r forbid she dies of oldage ! I dont think poor thang could hear the Phone ring at 3.am ?Bless her heart.

    March 12, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Waste of Money

    $1.7 billion would feed a lot of children, treat a lot of them in a hospital, save a lot of animals, etc. Why do people waste their money on organizations like this? All just to push for some person to grab or retain power. If she decides to run then fine, contribute to her. But this insanity is a total waste. And I'm sure a lot of the people sending money are the very same people complaining about all themoney in politics.

    March 12, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. I'm Ready for Hillary.... to retire and raise her grand children

    She is too old and tired to run for President again. Her pictures tell the story. Jetting around the world on vacation for 4 years took it right out of her.

    March 12, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    @DM4O – Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward

    "No. I will tell YOU what: I leave debating up to the TRUE debaters on this thread. ... ... ..."

    If you have no knowledge of the issues, your comments are meaningless. Which, of course, was my point in the first place. Your coments have therefore become those of nothing more than a head cheerleader – again, meaningless. Thanks for your reinforcement.
    -------------------------
    Meaningless? I hope you're not suggesting that your attempts at humor are in any way meaningful. I haven't heard you come up with too many original thoughts since the night the Karl Rove almost died, Election Night 2012. In fact, it's been so long that is seems that all I can remember are often repeated, right wing media, talking points. In other words, it seems like everything that you post lately I have heard elsewhere before, except, of course, for the bad jokes.

    March 12, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. salty dog

    Now silence, we know its not the truth unless it says what they want, the level of maturity on here is scary, ja, they've fabricated the truth do much they simply can't recognize it anymore. Truly pathetic when you knowingly lie, and get frustrated when the truth contradicts you.

    March 12, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    Well, Mittens spent 6 billions and it's half Koch, then Selden Adelson etc. Forgot? Yes, Hillary16.

    March 12, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @I'm Ready for Hillary.... to retire and raise her grand children
    She is too old and tired to run for President again. Her pictures tell the story. Jetting around the world on vacation for 4 years took it right out of her.
    ----------–
    Warning – Rush Lie Rumor alert – nice try. NOT.

    March 12, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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