By last November, John McCain's presidential campaign was broke. To survive, he offered his fundraising lists as collateral for a $3 million line of credit from a local bank. But obtaining the loan required an unusual extra step: He had to take out a special life insurance policy in case he did not survive the campaign. At the time, the 71-year-old senator's effort was more than $500,000 in the red, and the bank's line of credit was a pivotal lifeline that allowed him to make a strong showing in New Hampshire and eventually vault into the front-runner's position. According to a week-by-week analysis of contributions and spending, the campaign was $300,000 in debt by early June. Then it slowed its spending and nearly broke even over the summer. By November, the campaign was again in debt, and it continued to lose money until McCain began drawing on the loan that month. That left him with an estimated $872,000 going into the New Hampshire primary. "I've got to tell you, I cannot come up with another example of a candidate who went so far into the hole without any assurance of being able to dig out of it," said Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas government professor.
The Washington Post
With Crucial Loan, McCain Put His Bid Back in the Black