The presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders announced that they have set a new all-time record with more than 2.5 million donations from more than a million Americans in 2015.
The Sanders campaign broke down the data a statement:
The 2,513,665 donations to Sanders’ campaign broke the record set four years ago by President Barack Obama’s re-election committee. Through Dec. 31, 2011, Obama had chalked up 2,209,636 donations.
The more than 1 million donors to Sanders also is a milestone unmatched by any first-time White House candidate. Obama’s millionth donor in his 2008 campaign came on Feb. 27 of that election year. (In the next election cycle, the incumbent president’s re-election campaign hit the 1-million- donors mark on Oct. 17, 2011.)
Unlike other campaigns, small contributions made up the vast majority of all the money Sanders’ campaign raised. The average donation to Sanders during the past three months was $27.16.
All told, Sanders supporters gave $33,281,952 during the Federal Election Commission reporting period that ended at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Secretary Clinton’s campaign announced on Friday that she raised $37 million in the last quarter for use in the Democratic primary. The total for Sanders far surpassed donations in either of the previous two quarters of his eight-month long campaign and brought the fundraising total for 2015 to $72.8 million. Sanders ended the year with $28.4 million cash on hand.
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver added, “This people-powered campaign is revolutionizing American politics,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “What we are showing is that we can run a strong, national campaign without a super PAC and without depending on millionaires and billionaires for their support. We are making history and we are proud of it.”
What is most impressive about the Sanders campaign is that they are keeping pace with the Hillary Clinton fundraising machine without super PACs or billionaires. Just before Christmas, both Democratic campaigns engaged in a bit of downplaying of expectations by telling supporters that the other side was going to raise more money.
It turns out that both campaigns raised enough money to make the Democratic primary a national contest.
The success of Bernie Sanders is the worst nightmare of the billionaires who are trying to buy our government with Citizens United-fueled dark money. Millions of ordinary Americans are rising and saying not this time to the corporations and billionaires. Sanders is demonstrating the Democrats don’t have to play in the dark money cesspool to be competitive.
The billionaires have the dollars, but it turns out that when regular Americans get organized and come together, they can get their message out one small donation at a time.
Sen. Sanders is making history, and he is changing the conventional wisdom about who candidates have to raise their money from to be successful.
There is something larger at stake than the Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders has created a new fundraising model and in the process may deal a crippling blow to the Koch brothers and their right-wing billionaire buddies.