Bernie Sanders Reports $34.5 Million Fundraising Haul | Off Message

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders Reports $34.5 Million Fundraising Haul


Sen. Bernie Sanders - FILE: STEFAN HARD
  • File: Stefan Hard
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
Updated at 12:49 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) closed out 2019 with another major fundraising victory. His presidential campaign announced Thursday that it raised more than $34.5 million in the final three months of the year.

The money came in the form of 1.8 million individual contributions, the campaign said, averaging $18.53 apiece. Notably, nearly 300,000 people gave to Sanders’ campaign for the first time in the fourth quarter.

Since Sanders joined the 2020 race last February, he has raised $96 million and accepted 5 million donations. According to his campaign, 99.9 percent of his donors have given less than the maximum $2,800 allowed by law, suggesting that they could continue fueling his operation as early voting begins next month in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In a written statement, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said his boss was “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.”

Because presidential candidates do not have to file official reports with the Federal Election Commission until later this month, it’s impossible to verify Sanders’ self-reported numbers or compare them to the rest of the field. The campaign did not immediately reveal how much money it spent during the final quarter of 2019, nor how much it had in the bank.

By early afternoon Thursday, only a smattering of Sanders’ Democratic rivals had reported their fundraising figures. Former mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., said he raised $24.7 million, while entrepreneur Andrew Yang collected $16.5 million. Republican President Donald Trump, meanwhile, took in $46 million.

Sanders' fourth-quarter haul bests his third-quarter record of $25.3 million. It narrowly exceeds the $33 million he collected in the fourth quarter of 2015 — the equivalent period of the 2016 Democratic primary.