Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

John J. Pitney Jr.

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© 2016 Zachary R. Grau


For years political fundraising was structured around who could raise the most to outlast their opponent. The 2016 presidential elections showed that this standard was no longer the case. Fundraising was a core aspect of campaign finance that was further advanced with the introduction of Citizens United. It established new outlets of fundraising known as super PACs that changed the dynamics in campaign finance. This further incentivized presidential candidates to raise as much funds as they could. Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush embodied this new gold standard in his 2016 campaign run. On the other hand, celebrity mogul Donald Trump completely defied all standards with his self-funded 2016 campaign. Bush’s defeat and Trump’s victory represents a new era of campaign finance for future elections.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.