Bernie Sanders' Fundraising Haul: $15 million
Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has raised roughly $15 million since the Vermont senator entered the race two months ago, the campaign announced Thursday.
The campaign says 250,000 people made nearly 400,000 contributions, 99 percent of which were $250 or less. Almost all were transacted through the campaign’s website. (Sanders, an independent senator who is seeking the Democratic nomination, launched his campaign on April 30.)
The fundraising announcement comes just one day after Sanders, who is seeking to establish himself as a viable challenger to Hillary Clinton from the left, spoke in front of 10,000 energized supporters in Madison, Wis., the largest crowd any candidate on either side of the aisle has drawn thus far in the election cycle.
Clinton’s campaign announced on Wednesday a campaign fundraising record of $45 million raised since declaring her candidacy on April 12. Ninety-one percent of the contributions were for $100 or less, her campaign said.
As part of his pledge to reform campaign finance laws, Sanders refuses aid from super PACs and does not court wealthy donors. He often talks on the stump about the corrupting influence of money in politics and elections, and says he will never run a single negative advertisement.
On Tuesday, Sanders called it a “national disgrace” that presidential candidates were so aggressively wooing top-dollar donors before the June 30 quarterly deadline set by the Federal Election Commission. His campaign instead sent an email to supporters asking for $3 donations.
Sanders has surged in the polls in recent weeks, gaining significant ground in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire and closing the gap between himself and Clinton. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Clinton with a healthy lead of more than 30 percentage points in Iowa, but in New Hampshire, which borders Sanders’ home state of Vermont, Clinton leads by about 15 percentage points. The former secretary of state led Sanders by 40 points in the Granite State around the time he joined the race two months ago.
Sanders still trails Clinton nationally by more than 50 percentage points, according to the RCP average.
The self-described democratic socialist, who is very popular among progressive Democrats, says the slim electoral odds and fiscal disadvantages don’t deter him. Many of Sanders’ supporters view those shortcomings as part of the campaign’s appeal rather than a drawback.
“I am more than aware that my opponents will be able to outspend us, but we are going to win this election,” he said Wednesday night in Wisconsin. “They may have the money, but we have the people.”