In the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised more money than Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz did during their first day in the race.
Sen. Sanders raised $1.5 million from a network of small donors during his first day as an official presidential candidate.
The donations came from a broad base of supporters — some 35,000 donors who gave an average of $43.54 a piece, according to the Sanders campaign. The campaign also said it signed up more than 100,000 supporters through its website, building what it calls a “mass movement.”
Clinton has not released any details about her fundraising totals, online or otherwise. But the Sanders haul outpaces the three major Republican candidates who already have announced. In the first 24 hours since launching their campaigns, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) raised $1.25 million and Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) raised about $1 million each, according to their campaigns.
It is valuable to watch, not how much money is being raised, but how many donors a campaign has. In 2008 and 2012, the massive amount of small donors that Barack Obama was able to accumulate foreshadowed his strength on Election Day. Bernie Sanders is no Obama, but the fact that he has outraised the Paul money bomb machine speaks volumes about how the media has oversold Rand Paul’s strength as a candidate, which underestimating the strength of the support that is behind Bernie Sanders.
Republicans rely on wealthy donors and superPACs. What Sen. Sanders is doing is all the more incredible because he doesn’t have billionaires and dark money outfits funding his campaign. The money that Sen. Sanders is raising is coming from ordinary Americans who are fed up with a system that is rigged against them. Bernie Sanders isn’t going to raise a billion dollars, but he looks to be on pace to raise enough money to be competitive in the Democratic primary.
Sanders doesn’t have the fat cat donors behind him like Rubio, but he does have real grassroots supporters who are organizing behind him. Sen. Sanders might up being a stronger candidate than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Rand Paul.
The money he is raising is not a fluke. Bernie Sanders is building an army of ordinary Americans who intend to topple the Koch brothers and take their country back.