Bernie Sanders blows away expectations by nearly matching Hillary Clinton's fundraising haul

Sanders's support outpaces both of President Obama's campaigns

By Sophia Tesfaye
October 1, 2015 5:51PM (UTC)
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FILE - In this May 26, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks in Burlington, Vt., where he formally announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. As the presidential campaign starts to move past the question of who is and isn’t running for the White House, the two parties find themselves setting out on sharply divergent paths to Election Day. (AP Photo/Andy Duback, File) (AP)

Although the official reporting deadline isn't until Oct. 15, both the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns released previews of their third quarter fundraising efforts on Wednesday night.

Sanders raised $26 million in the third quarter, according to campaign spokesman Michael Briggs, who added that $2 million of that was raised in the last day of fundraising before the deadline.


A likely booster for that final-day haul was an announcement made by the Sanders campaign early Wednesday morning that it had reached one million online contributions -- faster than any other candidate for president.

That isn't exactly the same as reaching one million individual donors, however. Rather, 650,000 donors, some of whom had given multiple times, made 1.3 million donations to his campaign.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, even President Obama didn't hit one million donations until February of 2008 during his first campaign. In 2012, his reelection campaign reached one million donations in October of 2011.


Besides reaching the same breadth of financial support as an incumbent president, the Sanders campaign has other fundraising figures to brag about, like its support from small donors.

Sanders's campaign said its average donation is $24.86. Although his campaign would not release a precise tally of the percentage of their funds coming from small donors, it has touted its independence from big-money donors.

Still, Clinton far outpaces Sanders for total funds raised so far, having raised $47.5 million by June 30 compared with Sanders's $15.2 million at the time. Her campaign has also said that 93 percent of her donations have been $100 or less, although during her second quarter haul the majority of her donations were between $200 and $2,700.


Last night, Clinton's campaign announced that its third-quarter haul was $28.5 million. Though her campaign expected a lower fundraising haul this quarter, few observers would have predicted that Sanders would nearly match Clinton's fundraising.

Bernie Sanders Is Catching Up To The Clinton Fundraising Juggernaut

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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