Campaign 2012: Return on fundraising

By Brett Neely, Minnesota Public Radio
Sept. 11, 2012

Candidates spend big money to hire professional fundraisers, buy mailing lists of likely donors and pay telemarketers to dial up donors and ask for cash.

Of any of Minnesota's members of Congress, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann spends the most, by far, on fundraising. She also raises the most money. Since ending her presidential campaign in January, Bachmann has spent almost $1.3 million on fundraising alone. That's 16 cents on every dollar she's raised this year.*

Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison is one of the biggest Democratic users of direct mail. Ellison has spent $425,000 on fundraising this election cycle, or about 30 cents of every dollar he's raised.

Republican congressman Erik Paulsen has become a strong fundraiser, bringing in more than $2.2 million since 2011. He's also spent heavily to raise that cash - more than $500,000, or 23 cents out of every dollar.

* Figures collected from Michele Bachmann's fundraising efforts cover the period from February 2012 to July 25, 2012. All others are from Jan. 1, 2011 to July 25, 2012. Figures are rounded to the nearest value.

Data source: Federal Election Commission.
Graph by Robert Boos, Minnesota Public Radio