While Other Candidates Tap Millionaires, Sanders Campaign Is Fueled By Small Donations

Bernie Sanders Portland, Maine
On Friday, campaign super PACs filed financial reports with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), giving the public a more complete picture of which candidates are doing well and which ones are doing poorly in the fundraising race. The August 1st edition of The New York Times ran a piece showing how much money each candidate has raised, and it also included how much cash has been raised by super PACs supporting each candidate.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has raised 13.7 million dollars in total contributions, with 80. 7 percent of that money coming from donations of 200 dollars or less. For comparison, 19 percent of Hillary Clinton’s donations have been 200 dollars or less. Just 3.3 percent of Jeb Bush’s contributions have come from small donations.

Only retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson comes close to matching Sanders in his reliance on small donors to power his campaign. 80.2 percent of Carson’s money has come from donations of 200 dollars or less.

While those figures are from the actual campaigns themselves, the race for dollars among super PACs might be even more revealing. For example, over 95 percent of contributions to super PACs that support Texas Senator Ted Cruz have come from donations of one million dollars or more. Over 75 percent of super PAC funds in support of Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Marco Rubio have also come from contributions of a million dollars or greater.

For Hillary Clinton super PACs, the figure is 51.1 percent. By contrast, no pro-Sanders super PAC has received any donations exceeding a million dollars.

Thirty-one wealthy donors have given 1.1 million dollars or more to fund presidential candidates or pro-candidate super PACs. Each of those donors has funneled their money to Republicans, with Ted Cruz supporters Robert Mercer and Toby Neugebauer leading the charge. Each has donated more than ten million to support Cruz’s presidential bid.

While no individual has given over a million dollars to back any Democrat running for president, a handful of individuals have contributed exactly one million to help elect Hillary Clinton. Philanthropist George Soros and film director Steven Spielberg have each contributed a million dollars to help elect Hillary Clinton.

Since Bernie Sanders is explicitly taking on the “billionaire class”, it makes sense that his campaign would resonate with ordinary citizens, while failing to catch hold with the super wealthy. The fundraising reports released so far bear out what it probably obvious. Bernie Sanders campaign is a grassroots, people-powered movement, while most of the other campaigns are being backed by millionaires and billionaires.

20 Replies to “While Other Candidates Tap Millionaires, Sanders Campaign Is Fueled By Small Donations”

  1. …remember the old expression “You gotta dance with them that brought you.” ???
    …if Bernie does win, there’ll be no doubt who brought him to the Soiree…

  2. That’s all good and well, and it may make those who believe we should have a revolution in this country very happy (self-proclaimed Anarchists, Socialists, Communists, and left-leaning Libertarians), but it spells a death knell for Senator Sanders’ chances of winning the Democratic primaries (although I’m well aware that some of his supporters are just supporting him in order to force Hillary Clinton more to the Left – where the majority in this country doesn’t find itself at the moment), and it will crush his chances of winning the G.E. against any Republican who wins the primaries.

    Fact of the matter is, because of C.U., either you have the money to compete with Koch/Adelson $$’s or you’ll lose.

  3. No. Sen. Sanders is just in the news right now. Its your job too point his shortcomings. Don’t be scared

  4. That may be all well and good for now, but if Sanders wins the nomination, the very thing he rails against is what he’s going to need to win the Presidency. If he should be the one to go up against the Republican nominee, he’s gonna need the big bucks to run a presidential campaign. We will see then if he still thinks Super Pacs are not needed in today’s political campaign. Until we rid ourselves of Citizens United, that’s the name of the game….unfortunately.

  5. “Dred Scott turned People into Property. Citizens United turned Property into People”

    Citizens United is Destroying America!

  6. Its not a Sanders blog…its a liberal website that Sanders and Clinton supporters each seem to like when we write positive things about their preferred candidate, but not so much when we write positive things about the candidate they don’t prefer. If you want something less positive about Sanders, you can read this, which I also wrote…


  7. I find it interesting that those who claim that they’re ‘Taxed Enough Already!’, seem to have limitless cash when it comes to bankrolling their favorite candidate.

  8. “Its my job too point his shortcomings?”

    Older, white and male come to mind.

    My belief is that we need a Woman with thick skin as President for a host of reasons. The first being to set an example to the World, specifically the Muslim World, that YES Women can lead the way forward.

  9. Asked by ABC’s This Week guest-host Jonathan Karl whether Clinton is “honest and trustworthy,” Sanders resisted:

    I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton. She is somebody I have known for 25 years. I am not going to be engaging in personal attacks against her. I’m not going to be engaging in personal attacks against her. She and I disagree on many issues. The American people want a serious debate about serious issues, not personal attacks.

  10. DJ, I read and enjoy nearly every link you put up and even when I do not agree with it all, I learn something or it is a good read.

    Not this time. By the last two paragraphs I was wincing it was so bad. First of all – he is not now and never has been a democrat, for starters. He shunned, by all accounts, the party for decades. And all the other bits were just hog wash non-sense.

    Markos on the other hand has surprised me and made me laugh out loud at some of his very sly commentary on this cycle. I avoid that place, it is a layer of hell, but sometimes the devil gets his due.

  11. Months ago his campaign was attacking her in a few interviews as trial ballons. Tad Devine said soon after they did that it was clear they cannot do so and survive. They said, loud and clear, they are well aware that if they attack Hillary they will be crushed and run over in full force assault back at them.

    They have played nice ever since.

    Hundreds of democratic party major supporter pit bulls who have her back would pounce.

    He surely got instant response when he tried it months ago and “felt the burn” and licked his wounds. His own campaign said so.

  12. If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.

  13. If you mean because he was the senior adviser in Al Gore’s campaign, maybe you don’t realize, after all was said and done, Gore actually won.

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