Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for President of the United States, has accumulated more than $2.9 million in August alone—more than the entirety of his 2012 campaign's fundraising efforts.The campaign credits the fundraising success to a “$15 on the 15th intitiative,” a single-day money-gathering drive where people were encouraged to make individual donations on the 15th of August.Over 90,000 individuals donated money to the Johnson campaign in August. The average donation was $32.In 2012, Johnson ran as a Libertarian against Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He raised a total of $2,317,996 during that campaign.In 2016, he raised more money in the first 15 days of August than the Libertarian party did in the entire 2012 election cycle.This is good news for Johnson supporters. The quest to get Gary Johnson on the Presidential debate stage is just one step in the long-shot effort for the Libertarian to become the next president.
Mainstream Candidates' Fundraising Through the Roof
He competes against candidates whose fundraising draws on deeper pockets.Hillary Clinton has raised over $374 million and spent more than 290 of it. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has only raised a little over $90 million.The disparity comes in part because Hillary Clinton’s fundraising is primarily rooted in mega-donors and super-PACs, whereas Trump spends from his own pocket.In order to compete with the ultra-moneyed Republican and Democratic parties, Gary Johnson will not only need to raise more money, but garner enough support to put himself on the Presidential debates.The rules regarding the debates are set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which arguably make it harder for Johnson to break onto the stage. He must be polling at 15% in all of five major polls.These polls, however, also include rival Jill Stein, and would likely take away a few percentages of the anti-establishment vote on which Johnson depends.