Pro-Clinton super PACs raise $24 million

Story highlights

  • Pro-Hillary Clinton super PACs raised $24 million in the first half of 2015, the groups said
  • That includes $2 million each from media mogul Haim Saban and hedge fund manager George Soros

Washington (CNN)A set of pro-Hillary Clinton super PACs raised $24 million in the first half of 2015, including $2 million each from media mogul Haim Saban and hedge fund manager George Soros, the groups said Thursday.

Priorities USA Action, the best-funded group backing the Democratic frontrunner in 2016's presidential race, brought in $15.6 million so far this year, the group's head said in a donor letter obtained by CNN.
American Bridge 21st Century, which conducts opposition research on Republican presidential candidates, raised $7.7 million -- including another $1 million for Soros, according to group spokesman Ben Ray. That figure includes Correct the Record, a part of American Bridge that responds to attacks on Clinton.
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    American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, a separate group that is not required to disclose its donors, raised an additional $1 million, Ray said.
    The totals come the day after Clinton's presidential campaign announced she had raised $45 million in 2015's second quarter -- the first of her campaign.
    That was a record for a presidential candidate's first quarter after entering the race, and it shattered any doubt that Clinton herself would be one of the best-funded candidates in the 2016 race.
    But the $24 million total raises questions about how much money she can attract in outside support, especially compared to her Republican counterparts. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Right to Rise super PAC, for example, is expected to have raised as much as $100 million since the start of the year.
    Priorities USA Action has gone through several leadership shake-ups, and major Democratic donors have stayed on the sidelines in what's been a much less competitive primary than Republicans are holding. It's left unclear whether Democrats can come anywhere close to matching the outside spending that Republicans will pump into the 2016 race, with billionaires Charles and David Koch pledging to spend nearly $1 billion through their own network.
    Guy Cecil, the veteran Democratic strategist who worked on Clinton's 2008 campaign and is now heading Priorities USA Action, said in a letter Thursday that there's been a major uptick in the last four weeks, with $12.5 million raised over that period.
    "It may seem early to many of us, but with the amount of money pouring in from the far right wing, the time has come for our side to kick things into high gear," he said. "We have a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but we are starting to see some real momentum."