Bernie Sanders raises $33 million in record-breaking campaign donations from individual donors
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders raised more than $33m in the last three months of 2015 from a record 2.5m individual donations, his campaign said Saturday. That breaks the record for small donations for a candidate, which was held by Barack Obama’s fourth quarter re-election fundraising in 2011, when 2.2m donations poured in.
The fundraising pushes Sanders’s year-end total donations to more than $73m from more than one million people, just one month before the first caucus in Iowa.
“This people-powered campaign is revolutionizing American politics,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager said in a statement. “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.”
When Sanders launched his presidential bid he refused to start a Super Pac, a choice that once made him a dark-horse candidate. But in the last year Sanders has steadily gained on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and in December polled between 16 and 21 points behind the former secretary of state.
The average donation to the Sanders campaign in the last three months was $27, which will allow Sanders to tap supporters again, as the campaign said only a few hundred have reached the donation limit. Traditional campaign finance laws limit campaign donations to $2,700, but Super Pacs allow candidates to raise unlimited funds.
Clinton, by way of comparison, raised $55m in the last three months and $112m throughout 2015, her campaign announced Friday. Much of the money raised in the last three months, $18m, was through state Democratic committees.
“Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have joined together and powered this historic campaign, we are now heading into Iowa and New Hampshire with the resources we need to be successful,” her campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement to the media.
Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has not announced his fourth-quarter fundraising totals. His campaign has struggled behind Sanders and Clinton, and in primary polls was the chosen candidate of just 2-9% of voters. O’Malley recently failed to qualify for theballot in Ohio .
To many’s surprise, Democratic candidates out-fundraised their Republican opponents, as a glut of candidates continue to crowd the field. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose top aides resigned this week , raised more money other Republicans, with $23m in the last quarter. Though Republican Texas senator Ted Cruz was at Carson’s heels, and announced this week that his campaign raised about $20m in the last quarter of 2015.
Polls put Cruz and Republican candidate Donald Trump neck and neck in Iowa, though Trump continues to dominate the overall Republican field. Trump has not reported fundraising information for the fourth quarter, but has generally been frugal when spending campaign cash .
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