At midnight, the deadline for candidates for president (and other federal offices) to report how much they raised and spent over the first six months of the year were due at the Federal Election Commission. Campaign finance nerds are spending today (and tomorrow and the next day) combing through the fine print of each report for the nuggets that provide some insight into how candidates are raising and spending their money -- and why.

While they do that, we thought we'd give some of the topline takeaways from the second quarter of fundraising for the 2016 presidential race. Below are the best and the worst of the last few months of cash collecting.

Who did we miss? The comments section is open for business.


* Jeb Bush
Sure, we all knew the former Florida governor was going to raise scads of money -- largely through his Right to Rise super PAC. But meeting such lofty expectations is a lot harder than it might seem. Bush's $103 million raised through the super PAC is a stunning number and almost certainly ensures that he will enjoy a considerable financial advantage throughout the course of the primary fight. Money isn't determinative for Bush or anyone else, but his massive cash stash will allow him to overcome a slip-up in one of the early states.

* Ted Cruz
As we noted in this space earlier this week, Bush's number is the biggest, but the Texas Senator's haul may be the most important. Cruz's $51 million raised over the first six months of the year puts him behind only Bush in the cash dash -- a spot that his team has to be thrilled with. Cruz is something we haven't seen in recent presidential contests; he's the favorite of the base of the party and has the money to stay within shouting distance of the more establishment candidates.

* Hillary Clinton
Like Bush, we knew Clinton was going to have a massive quarter. But she still did it. And Clinton did it the hard way; she raised her $46 million through a federal campaign committee -- meaning that she collected it all in $2,700 chunks rather than the unlimited donations that super PACs can accept.  That's pretty damn impressive.  Yes, she does have some of the same problem with small donors that afflicted her in the 2008 race against Barack Obama, but there's no Barack Obama in the race this time -- at least fundraising-wise.

* Bernie Sanders
Guess who raised the second most money through his campaign committee of any 2016 candidate over the second quarter? Yup! The Bern. The Vermont socialist Senator collected $15.2 million over the past three months and had one of the lowest burn rates -- 20 percent -- of all the candidates in the field. Sanders's strength among small-dollar donors was also a stirring contrast to the top-heavy, big dollar donors of Clinton.  Can Sanders possibly keep it up?

* Todd Young (R-Ind.)
The congressman just launched his Indiana Senate campaign, and he did so with a splash, pulling in $1 million in the second quarter despite not being an official Senate candidate yet. The even-better news for Young? Top GOP primary opponent and erstwhile favorite, former state party chairman Eric Holcomb, pulled in just $200,000. It's not all rosy for Young, though; Rep. Marlin Stutzman pulled in a respectable-but-not-great $600,000.

* Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
The vulnerable incumbent pulled in more than $2 million in the second quarter -- a very good off-year sum -- and has $4.3 million cash on hand. Perhaps more importantly, he did so as Republicans still struggle to find a candidate to run against him. The more Bennet can build a massive war chest, the harder that task becomes for national Republicans.

* Former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)
The former senator raised money like you would expect and actually outraised Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), $2.2 million to $2 million, for their rematch. Johnson self-funded heavily last time, but has said he won't do so again. Given that, the fact that Feingold ($2 million cash on hand) is already approaching Johnson's cash on hand total ($2.75 million) means even more. This isn't hugely surprising, but outraising an incumbent counts as a "win" in our book.


* Mike Huckabee
Every time people ask us about the top tier of candidates and we don't mention the former Arkansas governor, they inevitably say: What about Huckabee? Well, here's what about Huckabee: As someone who is near the top of the pack in most national polling in the race, he raised $2 million with another $6 million coming in from his super PAC.  Not so good. Huckabee has never been a good and/or committed fundraiser; not much appears to have changed this time around. This is why we can't give him a chance to win, even though he is broadly well-liked within the GOP.

* Rand Paul
One of the arguments in the Kentucky senator's favor has long been that he has a deep and almost-exclusive fundraising base among the libertarian-minded crowd that gave his father's 2008 and 2012 presidential bids tens of millions of dollars.  Paul brought $7 million in for his presidential campaign committee during the quarter, however, which is not near what some expected of him. By way of comparison, Ben Carson raised $8.5 million through his campaign committee in the same time period. Paul's super PAC has yet to report its fundraising, however. If it posts a massive number, he might be able to get himself out of our "worst" column.

* Rick Santorum
This guy won Iowa in 2012! He won 11 total states in the nomination fight against Mitt Romney! And yet, in his first quarter of active fundraising for 2016, he brought in only $608,00 and had a meager $232,000 left on hand. His 62 percent burn rate was the third highest of all the candidates. Oomph. Gut punch.

* Lincoln Chafee: The former Rhode Island governor and senator raised less than $30,000 from people not named "Lincoln Chafee" in the second quarter. Um, what? Chafee's meager -- and that's being nice -- fundraising total raises the question: If no one other than you wants to invest in your candidacy, why are you running at all? Again, this man was a governor and senator of a U.S. state.

* Ohio Democrats
Any time you see this headline -- "Ted Strickland is far behind in the fund-raising goals advisers proposed" -- it's probably bad news. That was actually from before the Democratic former governor announced a seven-figure quarter last week, but he was still outraised by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) $2.9 million to $1 million. And as a former governor, Strickland should really be able to tap into cash more quickly. The other Democrat in the race, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, saw a dip in fundraising to $270,000, which suggests his campaign is in pretty rough shape. That's probably good for Strickland, but nobody really thought he would lose the primary anyway.