Money isn't playing a deciding role in the GOP race

Following the Citizens United decision, many pundits were claiming that from here forward, money would be the deciding factor in the race for the White House -- particularly on the Republican side.

How wrong they were.

Clearly money still plays a role in the barrier to entry, but the 2016 GOP race has already proven that money alone cannot buy the nomination.

The list of total current spending (candidate committee plus outside groups) by Republican candidates stacks up as follows:

  • Jeb Bush: $152.1 million
  • Ted Cruz: $101.1 million
  • Marco Rubio: $77.3 million
  • Ben Carson: $71.3 million
  • Scott Walker: $32.0 million
  • Chris Christie: $31.1 million
  • Donald Trump: $27.1 million
  • Carly Fiorina: $25.9 million
  • Rand Paul: $22.6 million
  • Rick Perry: $16.7 million
  • John Kasich: $15.3 million
  • Mike Huckabee: $10.0 million
  • Lindsey Graham: $9.9 million
  • Bobby Jindal: $6.0 million
  • George Pataki: $2.1 million
  • Rick Santorum: $2.0 million
  • Jim Gilmore: $0.5 million

Of the $603 million the GOP hopefuls had spent by the latest release of the Federal Election Commission data on January 31, the leading and most talked about candidate -- Donald Trump -- had spent only 4.5% of this.

With only Trump and Ted Cruz left as realistic candidates in the race -- Marco Rubio would need to become a historical first by losing the first four primaries and still capturing the nomination, which is a near-impossibility -- $475 million (or 79 percent) had already been spent before the primaries even began by those who ultimately failed in their attempts.

Even more notable is that some candidates such as Scott Walker, who had still spent much more than Trump as of the end of January, dropped out many months ago.

The GOP is still vastly outspending the Democrats -- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have only collectively spent $280 million so far -- but, at least on the Republican side, there is no correlation between spending and success.