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Tracking the great bundler migration: Republican edition

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Following our recent post on Rudy Giuliani bundlers bringing their skills to John McCain’s campaign (and the flurry of media attention on McCain and his bundlers), we decided to shine a light on former bundlers for other Republican also-rans. Have they been as generous to McCain as have Rudy’s? (Don’t worry – we’ll be taking a look at the Dems, as well.)

Some notes before we begin: Bundling totals are reported in ranges, thus the lack of specificity. All information on bundlers for the former candidates comes from Public Citizen’s handy Whitehouseforsale.org; all information on McCain’s bundlers comes from his campaign website (which, like Obama’s, lists his top bundlers). And if you’re not quite sure what a bundler is, click here.

The many lesser lights of the Republican campaign — Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson, Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, and Tom Tancredo — all ran and dropped out without having one identified big-money bundler on their team. We’ll leave it to others to tell us if that played a part in their exits. For those who have blocked the primary season from their minds, that leaves Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson.

  • Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, had 14 bundlers for his campaign and only one has subsequently moved on to McCain. That bundler currently falls in the lowest category, having bundled between $50K-$100K.
  • Law and Order’s Fred Thompson, who was a national co-chair for McCain’s 2000 bid, had 135 bundlers hop on board his campaign, but has had only four subsequently move on to McCain. What they lack in numbers, however, they are certainly making up for in dollars — the four bundlers account for somewhere between $1.1 million to more than $1.75 million for McCain.
  • Former Massachusetts gov. Mitt Romney has been touted as a VP prospect for his ability to bring in big money. While he raked in more than $60 million during his own campaign, he hasn’t delivered much to the McCain camp. Out of 345 bundlers who worked for him during the primaries, only eight are now bundling for McCain — and seven of those eight are in the $50K-$100K range. In fact, Romney’s eight bundlers have accounted for somewhere between $450,000-$950,000 — significantly lower than Thompson’s four bundlers.

Meanwhile, former bundlers for “America’s Mayor” are still the biggest cash cows among the former candidates. Giulani’s 17 bundlers have brought in at least $3.25 million and possibly more than $4.5 million. So at the end of the day, at least Rudy can say he won something.