Bernie Sanders raised more than $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019, a substantial sum that exceeds the two other Democratic presidential candidates who have announced their hauls so far in that period.
The Vermont senator, who disclosed the amount Thursday morning, brought in a total of about $96 million last year from more than 5 million contributions. The campaign’s average donation was $18.
Sanders’ strong fundraising finish — the strongest quarter any Democratic presidential candidate announced thus far for 2019 — will give his candidacy a boost of good publicity in the weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses, as well as the cash to power him through the primary. It also makes him a top, and perhaps the best, fundraiser of the field last year.
Former South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he brought in $24.7 million in the final three months of 2019, while former Vice President Joe Biden raised $22.7 million. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has not yet announced her donations, but lowered expectations when she revealed a goal of bringing in $20 million, which is less than the amount she pulled in during the previous quarter.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she raised $3.4 million in that period.
Sanders’ team is seizing on his haul in order to argue that he is the strongest candidate to take on President Donald Trump.
“He is proving each and every day that working-class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy,” said campaign manager Faiz Shakir in a statement. “You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win.”
The Sanders campaign said it received contributions from 40,000 new donors on the last day of the year. Its best month was December, when it reaped more than $18 million from 900,000-plus contributions.
The Sanders team said “more than 99.9 percent” of its contributors have not given the maximum donation — and can therefore donate again. Sanders has criticized Biden and Buttigieg for raising money from billionaires. He made the issue the subject of a recent TV ad in Iowa, though he doesn’t name names in the spot.
Sanders said nearly 300,000 new donors gave to him last quarter. He did not reveal the amount of cash he has on hand.
In addition to the roughly $96 million raised, Sanders has transferred nearly $13 million from other campaign accounts.
The Sanders campaign said that the most typical occupation listed by his donors in the final quarter was teacher. Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target and the United States Postal Service were the most frequent employers, according to the campaign.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
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