DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is heading into the first primary contest today in Iowa having raised more money than anyone would have thought possible just one year ago.
The Sanders campaign raised almost $34 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and another $20 million in January alone. Sanders raised a total of $73 million in 2015, most of it in smaller amounts of $200 or less.
His rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has strong support from Wall Street, raised $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, just $3 million more than Sanders. The Clinton campaign raised a total of $112 million in 2015, but spent much of it. In January alone, however, Clinton super PACs raised a whopping $56 million. In late 2015, billionaire financier George Soros gave $6 million to a Clinton super PAC.
On the GOP side, the super PACs for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz raised only $3.8 million in the second half of 2015, but spent $9.2 million. But the Cruz campaign did well, raising $20.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, ending the year with $18.7 million cash on hand.
Billionaire Donald Trump, who is essentially self-financing his campaign, loaned himself $12 million in late 2015 and took in another $2 million in donations.
Neurosurgeon and author Ben Carson, who was leading the field in Iowa in several polls in October and November, raised $22.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 but spent $27 million, leaving him with $6.6 million cash on hand.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose super PAC Right to Rise had raised a stunning $103 million in the first half of 2015 in what was seen as an attempt overwhelm the other candidates in the field and designate Bush as the clear front-runner, raised only $15.1 million in the second half of 2015, $10 million of it from an insurance agency operator headed by the former CEO of AIG, Hank Greenberg.
The Jeb Bush campaign raised just over $7 million in the last quarter of 2015, half that of fellow Miami resident Marco Rubio, and has just $8 million cash in hand.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. has been on the upswing with rising finances and rising poll numbers. Little of the $14 million he raised in the fourth quarter of 2015 has been spent and if he finishes third in Iowa, he will be in a strong position going into the other early-voting states.
Several candidates appear to be limping into Iowa. Chris Christie's campaign has barely $1 million in cash on hand. Former Democratic Governor of Maryland Martin O' Malley's campaign is more than $500,000 in debt.