The two leading Democratic presidential candidates had strong fundraising for the 3rd quarter of 2015, raising a combined 54 million dollars for their campaigns. Hillary Clinton raised 28 million for the quarter ending September 30th. According to her campaign website, she has raised “more than any other non-incumbent candidate in this phase of the campaign in history.”
While Clinton led the fundraising race, she did not outpace Democratic rival Bernie Sanders by much. The Vermont Senator hauled in 26 million in contributions during the quarter. Relying on a flood of small dollar donations, Sanders also became the first candidate in the 2016 race to secure over a million online contributions.
While the two Democratic candidates have adopted different fundraising strategies, both have been effective at mobilizing Democratic contributors to support their campaigns. This ability to raise money bodes well for both candidates in a general election campaign, where a tremendous amount of financial resources will be needed to fight off the combined power of the Republican candidate and pro-GOP super PACs.
Since beginning her campaign, Hillary Clinton has raised over 75 million dollars. While she has been successful in soliciting contributions from high dollar donors, 93 percent of her donors have given 100 dollars or less, giving her plenty of room to grow. Sanders has even more room to grow as his online fundraising has relied on 650,000 different donors fueling his campaign, with small contributions averaging around 25 dollars a pop.
If a campaign’s strength is measured by its ability to raise money months before the primaries, and over a year ahead of the general election, then the Clinton and Sanders campaigns should be considered in relatively good health. Both candidates have been successful at hauling in the fund need to run competitive campaigns, in the traditionally slow summer fundraising quarter.
While money does not always translate into votes, it is always beneficial for a campaign to be well-funded. Clinton and Sanders have shown that they can raise money. Their supporters have reason for optimism, heading into 2016.