Rand Paul super PACs raise paltry $5 million

Updated 6:44 PM EDT, Fri July 24, 2015

Story highlights

The super PAC led by Paul's former advisers, America's Liberty PAC, raised $3.1 million

Paul has placed a particular emphasis on recruiting donors in Silicon Valley, but there is no sign that he succeeded

Washington CNN —  

The two super PACs supporting Rand Paul raised less money than many of his Republican rivals in the first half of 2015, confirming speculation that he would face difficulty financing his grassroots campaign.

The main super PAC led by Paul’s former advisers, America’s Liberty PAC, raised $3.1 million, according to a filing, far less than nearly every other Republican candidate’s. And a second, grassroots-focused group dedicated to electing him, Concerned American Voters, said in a statement to CNN Friday that it had raised an additional $1.9 million.

Jeb Bush shattered records by raising $103 million for his super PAC, but even the allied groups of candidates who perform significantly worse than Paul in polls managed to outraise Paul’s by significant margins.

Rick Perry’s claimed $17 million, Chris Christie’s said it brought in $11 million, and even the group allied with Carly Fiorina – who is unlikely to have enough support to make the Republican debate – said it raised more than Paul’s main group with $3.4 million.

Despite the poor numbers, the head of America’s Liberty indicated they would build a leaner operation not focused entirely on television campaigns, which in recent cycles have been in super PACs’ bailiwick.

“Instead of spending millions on slick TV ads, we have invested and are building a tech-savvy, highly-targeted data driven effort that can be used to effectively manage the tremendous grassroots support that Sen. Paul has built over the years,” John Tate, the group’s president, said in a statement.

Paul does seem to have two major supporters, however: Philadelphia investor Jeff Yass and Nevada IT executive George Macricostas, who each gave about $1 million to support America’s Liberty. Concerned American Voters has not yet released the names of its backers, but will have to by the end of the next week.

Donors can make unlimited contributions to super PACs, but the groups aren’t allowed to coordinate how to spend that money with the campaign.

Paul’s own campaign also trailed the official operations of many other hopefuls: The Kentucky senator only raised $7 million in what are called “hard dollars.”

Paul has placed a particular emphasis on recruiting donors in Silicon Valley, but there is no sign that he succeeded: Only four donors with California addresses donated to America’s Liberty, for a total of $56,000.