Sanders raises $6 million after announcing presidential bid

That amount far surpasses what any of his rivals have disclosed raising after their own announcements this year.

Just over 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors, his campaign said Wednesday morning.
That amount far surpasses what any of his rivals have disclosed raising after their own announcements this year.

Previously, Sen. Kamala Harris of California had claimed the biggest early fundraising haul that had been made public, with $1.5 million in 24 hours. In comparison, Sanders’ campaign said its fundraising in the first 24 hours came to $5.9 million.

Later Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s campaign cited Sanders’ windfall in its own fundraising pitch, sending a text message to supporters telling them about the $6 million that “Socialist Bernie” had raised. “Now I’m calling on you to CRUSH that number,” the message said.

Sanders’ early fundraising success is not unexpected: After all, he raised well over $200 million when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, and his list of online donors dwarfs those of his rivals.

But in a crowded presidential field, where candidates are eager to demonstrate the enthusiasm behind their campaigns, early fundraising hauls offer bragging rights, at least for a moment.

A recent New York Times analysis found that Sanders began his 2020 candidacy with about 2.1 million online donors who had given him money over the past six years, an enormous lead among proven contributors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined.

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who ran unsuccessfully for Senate last year, has twice as many online donors as anyone running or considering running besides Sanders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Harris each had drawn money from at least 230,000 online donors ahead of their candidacies.

A more complete view of the candidates’ fundraising will eventually be available through the Federal Election Commission. Several well-known Democratic candidates have not released early fundraising totals, including Warren, Gillibrand and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Still, based on what has been made public so far, here is a guide to who can claim those bragging rights.

Sanders: $6 million in just over 24 hours

Sanders surpassed not only his rivals but also his own performance when he announced his 2016 candidacy.

At the time, his campaign said it collected more than $1.5 million online from 35,000 donors in the first 24 hours.

While Sanders can boast of his early fundraising success, the donor list he developed in the 2016 campaign is an enormous advantage that none of the other declared Democratic candidates can match.

The Sanders campaign said Wednesday that its average donation mirrored the $27 average from the 2016 campaign. Sanders received $600,000 in donations that will recur monthly, his campaign said.

Harris: $1.5 million in 24 hours

Before Sanders released his numbers, Harris had the most impressive fundraising performance known in the primary so far.

Her campaign said it raised $1.5 million online from more than 38,000 donors in the 24 hours after she announced her candidacy in January. The average online donation was $37, her campaign said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota: $1 million in 48 hours

This is where the comparisons start to get a little tricky.

Klobuchar’s campaign said it raised more than $1 million “from online and grass-roots supporters” in the first 48 hours of her presidential bid. But the campaign did not say how many people had donated during that period, so it is not possible to estimate the size of her average donation.

Warren: $300,000 in under 24 hours

Warren announced an exploratory committee for president on Dec. 31. That day, she raised about $300,000 from just over 8,000 donors through the online donation-processing platform ActBlue, according to Federal Election Commission records.

That works out to an average donation of about $37. Warren formally announced her presidential bid earlier this month, but her campaign did not release information on its fundraising after that announcement.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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