In presidential politics, money can mean everything. Got great ideas, but living paycheck to paycheck? Good luck getting your name out. Flush with cash? Watch the support roll in through ads, a flashy campaign site and lavish dinner parties.
With this in mind, we scoured our sources to pin down net worths for 14 of the most likely 2016 presidential candidates. For current members of Congress, we based our estimates on “average net worth” from the Center for Responsive Politics. Congresspeople are required to submit “ranges” for the value of each asset they own, so the average net worth represents a best guess once you add all of the candidate’s assets together.
Meanwhile, we used numbers from Celebrity Net Worth to estimate several of the other candidate’s assets. Celebrity Net Worth gets their information from public sources, and includes “salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements” to estimate the total figure. Note that these estimates will be very rough approximations.
Even after tapping all our sources, we still couldn’t find reliable enough information about one candidate. We’ll start with him, then count down the 13 remaining candidates from least to most wealthy.
Estimated Net Worth: Unknown
Scott Walker is a strong dark horse to win the Republican nomination, with a solid record as Wisconsin’s governor and a famous, anti-union right-to-work law. Still, we know relatively little about how Walker might perform on a national stage—he wasn’t a candidate in 2012, nor does he have the last name (Bush) or Fox bonafides (Huckabee) to stand out from the pack. Adding to the Walker mystique: he’s the only candidate on this list whose net worth remains a mystery. We’ll update when we can find a reliable source.
Estimated Net Worth: $443,500
A Tea Party golden boy turned able statesman, Marco Rubio is the rare candidate with support from both conservative evangelicals and business-minded Republicans. He’s also one of the few 2016 candidates whose net worth might actually be deemed modest (at least among national politicians). With just over $400K to his name, Rubio is the least wealthy candidate in the growing pack of presidential hopefuls.
Estimated Net Worth: $600,000
With Hillary Clinton officially running, Vice President Joe Biden may decide to buck tradition and fade back gracefully, despite serving as the VP for a two-term president. And with only about $600K to his name, he would be starting at a big disadvantage against the mighty Clinton machine, as we’ll see later on this list.
Estimated Net Worth: $1.02 million
The South Carolina senator is flirting with a run, despite polling lower than every other candidate on this list. Unfortunately, Graham lacks key assets like charisma, a memorable brand, and—especially compared to the Bushes and Clintons of the world—money. He is worth just over $1 million, which is peanuts in the land of presidential politics.
Estimated Net Worth: $1.33 million
Rand Paul has a few built-in advantages, including support from a growing segment of Libertarians and name-recognition through his father, Ron Paul, a former presidential candidate. Nevertheless, he is not particularly well-off by presidential standards, with a net worth of just 1.33 million.
Estimated Net Worth: $3 million
The gaffe-prone, former Texas governor looks poised to mount a second presidential run, and some commentators believe he’ll be a much stronger candidate in 2016. His 2012 run was plagued with debate mistakes immortalized on YouTube, but rumor has it that nagging back pain issues may have affected Perry’s focus. His net worth stands at an estimated $3 million.
Estimated Net Worth: $3.17 million
The first 2016 candidate to formally declare a presidential run, Ted Cruz is likely too conservative to win the nomination outright. He is, however, reasonably wealthy, with about 3.17 million to his name.
Estimated Net Worth: $4 million
Once the rising star of the Republican party, Chris Christie’s favorable ratings have nosedived. The trend started with the governor’s infamous bridge-closing scandal and only grew since then. It seems the nation at large is less tolerant of Christie’s bombast than his fellow New Jerseyans. Still, Christie will be a formidable character in the 2016 primaries, and he brings a cool $4 million of net worth to the proceedings.
Estimated Net Worth: $5 million
The pastor-turned-politician-turned-TV-personality has gone from faithful to flush with cash, boasting a net worth of around $5 million. His lucrative Fox News gig—which he landed after a second-place finish in the 2008 primaries—is likely the biggest contributor to the former governor’s financial success. His appeal is probably too evangelical and too niche to win the nomination, but he controls a key Republican voting bloc, and his endorsement will be huge for the more mainstream candidates.
Estimated Net Worth: $5 million
In many ways, Rick Santorum is remarkably similar to Mike Huckabee. They both count evangelicals among their most ardent supporters. Each candidate has rode a promising primary to a second place finish. And each man has an estimated net worth of about $5 million. It will be fascinating to see the two clash in 2016…that is, if each end up committing to a run.
Estimated Net Worth: $6.69 million
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has officially declared that she will not run, but her sheer popularity among Democrats—second only to Hillary Clinton—earns her a mention on this list. Though she’s made a career out of critiquing big business and laws that favor the rich, she herself is worth nearly $7 million. Should Hillary Clinton stumble with an early scandal or health issue, Warren may well emerge from the wings.
Estimated Net Worth: $10 million
The de facto Republican frontrunner—largely because of name recognition and centrist views that appeal to the party establishment–Jeb Bush is also quite wealthy, with an estimated net worth of $10 million. Rubio and Walker should prove worthy adversaries, but for now, Bush is the man to beat.
Estimated Net Worth: $10 million
The only non-career politician on this list, Dr. Ben Carson is most famous for successfullly separating twins conjoined at the head. He has since joined the political stage informally, speaking out about healthcare and delivering a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Carson has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
Estimated Net Worth: $21.5 million
She’s the current favorite to win the election among betting markets, and her high net worth only adds to Hillary Clinton’s advantages. With an estimated net worth of $21.5 million, Clinton has more than twice the assets of her next-richest competitor.