Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) third quarter fundraising haul was more than every single candidate in the 2016 Republican field.
In an email, Sen. Sanders thanked his supporters:
What we have done together so far in this campaign is not only extraordinary and unprecedented, it is transforming American politics.
What we have shown is that we can raise over $40 million dollars without having a super PAC.
What we have shown is that we can raise an amount of money which makes us financially competitive by securing 1.3 million contributions from, unbelievably, 650,000 Americans.
What we have shown is that we can run a successful campaign without having to depend upon donations from the wealthy and the powerful and that we can do it with an average campaign contribution of only $30.
Sen. Sanders has enough money to be competitive in the Democratic primary. More importantly, he has the cash and has not run a single television ad. Hillary Clinton outraised Sanders by a few million dollars in the third quarter, but in order to understand the impressive nature of what the Sanders campaign is accomplishing it helps to compare his grassroots efforts to what is happening in the Republican primary.
Bernie Sanders raised $6 million more than the top Republican fundraiser Ben Carson ($20 million). Sanders may have come close to doubling Jeb Bush’s haul, which the closed lipped campaign will only say was more than the $11.4 million that he raised in the second quarter. It is expected that both Carson and Ted Cruz raised more money than Bush, but Bernie Sanders will have topped them all.
Carly Fiorina’s media buzz has not translated to big fundraising dollars. Rand Paul’s campaign is on life support with only a $2.5 million fundraising total and less than $2 million in the bank. Marco Rubio is pushing hard to raise money, but his numbers are unlikely to match Sanders. Trump is self-funding his campaign, and the rest of the Republican field is struggling to make it to Iowa.
The Republicans get a lot more media attention than Sen. Sanders, but he has outraised them all without a super PAC.
Sanders has mobilized a grassroots movement of small donors to show that a candidate can be successful and competitive without pandering to billionaires and special interests. Bernie Sanders has not had a big primetime presidential debate to participate in, yet he raised more money than Republicans who have had two nationally televised debates.
The people are taking back their elections one thirty dollar donation at a time, as Bernie Sanders is transforming American politics with an army of small donors.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association