The Bernie Sanders campaign has accomplished something that no other non-incumbent presidential campaign has ever done. Bernie Sanders donors have made more than 2 million contributions so far in 2015.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said, “What our vision of a political revolution has already accomplished is to show that we can run a strong and we believe winning campaign without a super PAC, without contributions from millionaires and billionaires. We are enormously proud that we have received more individual contributions at this point in the campaign than any candidate who is not an incumbent president. As the campaign continues to succeed, we expect those numbers to grow exponentially.”
The Sanders campaign also released a new ad titled “People Power”:
Sanders said in the ad, “Over 2 million contributions have been made to the only campaign that rejects a corrupt campaign finance system. You can’t level the playing field with Wall Street banks and billionaires by taking their money,” Sanders adds in the new message.”
The Sanders campaign announced that a new online push that began on Monday has raised $3 million, with $1.6 million raised since Wednesday. The average donation is $20, and more than 800,000 donors have donated for a second or third time. Only 1.7% of Sanders donors have maxed out and hit the contribution limit. Most impressively, Sanders trails only President Obama 2.2 million donations by the end of 2011 for the overall record.
The impressive fundraising by the Sanders campaign without using a super PAC or dark money demonstrates that motivated small donors can compete with the corrupt campaign finance system. Sen. Sanders is the political feel-good story of the year. The Senator from Vermont was largely ignored by the national media while he spent years building a popular grassroots movement on the left.
The press was surprised by the rise of Sanders, but if they had been paying attention, they shouldn’t have been. The popularity of Sen. Sanders has been building for years. Sanders has proven that a candidate doesn’t have to play in the dirty Citizens United pool to be successful. The best news for the Sanders campaign is that their donors are not maxed out ready to repeatedly give.
Sen. Sanders is going to have a stable and steady source of fundraising through the Democratic primary campaign. The key test remains whether or not the campaign can translate their loyal donor base into an expanded pool of new Democratic voters that can win a primary.
No matter the outcome, the Bernie Sanders campaign has been a raging success, as Sanders has launched a political revolution that changing the national political conversation on issues that matter to millions of ordinary Americans.