Former Governor Martin O’Malley has accepted public funding for his floundering presidential campaign. While the move could alleviate short-term financial concerns, it could carry great risk in the long-run due to the strict spending limits.
O’Malley is the first major presidential candidate since 2008 to accept public funding. Then-Senator John Edwards (D) accepted funding for his campaign as well as eventual Republican nominee Senator John McCain. However, the Edwards’s campaign manager, Joe Trippi, did not mince words when discussing O’Malley’s choice with BuzzFeed News.
Trippi said the decision “is effectively the end of (O’Malley’s) campaign.” In addition, he said, “No campaign that is serious can win taking that money.”
A candidate must raise at least $100,000 with at least $5,000 in 20 states. The Federal Election Commission’s public matching program will double O’Malley’s donations up to $250, but will impose a $48 million cap on his primary spending.
The O’Malley campaign has had financial difficulties with fundraising that has paled in comparison to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders. The campaign has also had a high burn rate with their money. Earlier this week, the campaign started shifting staff from the Baltimore headquarters to the early nominating states.