Republican presidential contenders spent much of the past year trying to lock up exclusive support from the party's biggest financiers. Despite their wooing, many of those donors have chosen instead to play the field.
At least 130 Republican donors have contributed to multiple presidential super PACs, according to a National Journal analysis of Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service financial disclosures. Those who are double- or triple-dipping (or even financially backing as many as seven different candidates) account for a massive $42 million in super PAC contributions so far.
That means that in the first half of the year, around one out of every seven dollars given in the Republican presidential race came from contributors who had yet to line up exclusively behind a single preferred candidate. Instead, they are spreading money around, extending their influence and giving second-tier candidates more staying power in a crowded GOP race.
"There are three or four people I really like," said John Catsimatidis, a New York City businessman who gave $75,000 to a super PAC supporting George Pataki, the former New York governor who endorsed Catsimatidis for mayor in 2013. But Catsimatidis and two of his companies have also distributed another $137,500 to super PACs backing four other candidates: Scott Walker ($70,000), Jeb Bush ($50,000), Bobby Jindal ($10,000), and Carly Fiorina ($7,500).