Bernie Sanders Leads Democratic Fundraising With $18.2 Million Haul
The Democratic money-donating public is in overdrive.
In the 41 days since Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) declared his candidacy for President, he’s received around 900,000 donations from all 50 states, averaging around $20 per donation. 88 percent of the fundraising sum came from donors giving less than $200, and the majority came from voters under the age of 39.
The $18 million figure shows Sanders holding an advantage over the two other Democratic competitors who have released their first quarter fundraising sums. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has raised $12 million while Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has raised more than $7 million, according to press announcements by their respective campaigns on April 1, 2019.
A huge donor base developed during the 2016 Presidential race, in which the Sanders campaign raised more than $200 million, buoys Sen. Sanders’ campaign. Only 20% of this quarter’s donations came from new supporters, according to Campaign Manager Faiz Shakir. After announcing his presidential bid Feb. 19, Sanders raised $5.9 million in 24 hours and $10 million within a week.
According to a January 2019 Morning Consult poll, Sanders ranked as the most popular senator in America for the 11th time in a row. 64% percent of Vermont’s voters approve of Sanders and numerous polls place him among the most popular politicians in America.
The 2020 presidential primary is shaping up to be fiercely competitive, with other candidates showing impressive fundraising ability despite not yet revealing their total for the quarter. After announcing his bid, Beto O’Rourke raised $6.1 million in 24 hours, topping even Sanders’ record-breaking grassroots funding. Sen. Kamala Harris pulled in $1.5 million in her first day, while other democratic hopefuls Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper all broke the $1 million mark after 48 hours.
Candidates are legally required to record all campaign donations, and first quarter sums must be disclosed by April 15.
The Vermont senator’s 2020 war chest now totals $28 million. Sander campaign officials said his first-quarter donations will enable him to hire new staff and expand operations in early voting states in 2020’s primary contests, which begin in Iowa in February. “With the money we have raised, we will be able to compete in all of the states” through early March 2020, according to Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser in the Sanders’ campaign.
Early polls on the 2020 Democratic primary tend to show former Vice President Joe Biden, who is technically still undeclared, and Sen. Sanders as front runners, followed by Harris and O’Rourke. A March 24, 2019, Fox News Poll puts Biden at 31%, Sanders at 23%, and Harris and O’Rourke each with 8%. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were each at 4%, while other candidates held 2% or less. Biden holds the lead among voters over 45 while Sanders is more popular with younger Democrats, and both are favored to beat President Trump, according to a Fox News Poll.