December 25th, 2008
08:35 PM ET
12 years ago

One in 4 candidates ended the campaign season in debt

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Hillary Clinton says she hopes to have her campaign debt paid before her possible confirmation as secretary of state."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton isn't the only former candidate still fundraising long after Election Day: an analysis released this week found that one out of every four prospective officeholders this year ended the campaign season in the red.

The non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics found that 665 out of 2,339 candidates for political office still don't have enough to pay off their campaign debts - a combined deficit of roughly $144 million.

But many won't face much pressure from their creditors: $125 million of that debt is money candidates lent their own campaigns. "Eight out of the top 10 debtors reached into their own pockets for more than 40 percent of their campaign funds," CRP reported.

Filed under: Fundraising
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. earle,florida

    These poor fools spend millions of there own money, sound familar? Must be a pretty lucrative job that they're willing to pony-up so much! Yet, (IL)Gov. Rod Blag' wants some money up front ,or a seat with the big boys ,and gets fried,..what gives? I'd rather get robbed by a stick-up than have some back-stabbin SOB politician take my lifes saving/future through higher taxes ,and giving me no option for a job except on a bench ,...

    December 25, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Denise

    People who cannot adequately run their campaign finances do not deserve to be POTUS. If they cannot manage their campaign finances, then they c annot handle the national finances, which is much larger. Well, as it stands.

    December 25, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Ann

    She will make it, so don't start trashing her for opposing your Chicago corrupt PE.

    Hillary, I wish you Merry Christmas and I congratulate you for trying to do something in this men's world. We know you were the best .

    December 25, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Joe Fattal

    Her acceptance for secretary of state appointment didn't came for free. I bet Obama himself had to pay her a very good portion of her debt. She could have kept her senate job and ran again in 2012.

    December 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Electress

    She worked hard for the backstabbers, (DNC) should they have picked up the tab!

    December 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Not too Happy

    Merry Christmas – to earle, florida.

    Have some Christmas dinner and chill-out

    December 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. (Former) Republican supporting President Obama, Columbia, TN

    It is a shame that it takes so much money to run for President of the United States. The amount of money it takes to run a presidential campaign ensures that the average man and woman who endeavors to push this great nation toward perfection can never realize their dream because they do not have access to large amounts of money. Is it democracy when the only people who can run for president are those who have access to large sums of money!

    December 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |


    December 25, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. democrat with a small "d"

    Frankly, who cares if she ever pays off her debt, as long as the money doesn't come from taxpayers.

    December 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. God Help Us

    Ron Paul had money left over. He practiced what he preached about being fiscally responsible.

    December 25, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Carole

    I opened my eyes to what a selfish brat Hillary Clinton is!

    Her not giving up the electorals and looking unprofessional! Her staying in it so we may need her in the event Senator Obama gets killed!!!!

    PUMAS all of you could have paid $1 for Hillary when she did not get out when she should have. MAN or WOMAN. She disgraced me as a woman

    President Clinton was a great president. But Hillary is NO Bill.

    **I guess the Repub moderator is on today!

    December 25, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Perusing-Through

    NEW CAMPAIGN RULE: CANDIDATES SHOULD 'PAY-AS-YOU-GO' FOR HIGH PROFILE CAMPAIGN SEATS. If a candidate cannot financially manage their campaign, how can you trust them to manage the nation's finances?

    December 25, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Perusing-Through

    If a candidate's campaign message DOES NOT inspire, nor elicit people to reach in their purses & wallets and make sacrifices required to seat the "people's choice" into office, than that candidate should NOT BE ALLOWED to continue campaigning on BORROWED MONEY, DEBTS, and IOUs. Conversely, if the people feel their candidate supports their district and interest, than the people will reach in their wallets and help their candidate continue to campaign DEBT FREE.

    December 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Hall for Obama

    Maybe you can go and work for IL Gov.

    December 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. kelly WI

    I think the money people sent to candidates for campaigns, parties and inaugarual events could be better spent someplace else.
    In this day and age of communications they don't need to be running all over the country campaigning. Campaigning=buying.
    Personnaly I don't give a cent to politictions or parties. If I give any money away its to the animal shelters.
    The words public service grit on me. They are all million aires stroking their egos and want power. Mostly to confinscate our money (taxes) to get more money for them selves.
    BTW, why does Nancy P. need a private jet, paid for by us, when she is a millionaire herself? Newt didn't have one. But then there are more millonaire dems in the congress and senate than Repubs.

    December 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Anna, ATL

    Get a grip! Unlike most primaries, the Democratic primary was extremely close, and many of her supporters encouraged her to edge on. It was her PERFECT RIGHT as a CANDIDATE to stay in the race until the very end if she had chosen too. It had virtually no bearing on the outcome. If anything, it allowed the voters to get to know Obama (a virtual unknown before Super Tuesday) better because of all the publicity around it.
    AND even if you can fault her for doing so, pray tell what her decision has to do with being a WOMAN?
    What she did has been done by many men before her–the current Minnesota debacle comes to mind.

    There are fewer politicians in this world that have worked harder for the betterment of this World than the Clintons, even in times of failure, adversity and error. And thankfully, they don't give up.

    And Obama, in victory, has recognized and rewarded her for it.

    December 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Yes she will because yes she can.

    December 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |

    Where are the PUMAs now?

    Here kitty, kitty, kitty. . . .


    December 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Will18E

    Is this new math?
    If you borrow money from yourself, then spend it on yourself, how is possible to be in debt, because, you did not repay yourself?
    How about borrow money from yourself to pay off the money you already borrowed from yourself to pay off your debt to yourself.

    December 25, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. Kenneth M. of Flushing Queens

    Hillary has the MaHaRushie to thankf for Operation Chaos. Without it she would have been POTUS. Between him and PUMA (Pick Up My Aftermath) I am sure she will be ok. Wow, a debt from running and a pay cut poor Hillary.

    December 25, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  21. sick and tired

    She is not in debt when she and her husband is worth 109 million.

    December 25, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. Marge

    Not if they have overseas connections like the one who got the nomination.......they poured it on for him didnt they.

    December 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. rachel

    Jeez can you guys get over it you arent sending her money so what do you care. She will take care of it. I am sick of people complaining. You complain about her campaigning till the end which was her right, and you complain about her still fundrasing like your golden boy she has a right. She is about to put together the most powerful state department ever seen so just watch.

    December 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Irritated in Fl

    Then I guess that puts them in the same boat with the rest of us. Poor poor rich politicians.

    December 25, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Aaron Johnson

    She spent her own personal money to try to stop Obama and still could'nt pull it off. President only makes $400,000 yr and they raise $600 million to run for the job.

    December 25, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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