Hillary may be weary about a possible Joe Biden run, but she should be keeping a close eye on a competitor already in the race. Bernie Sanders has made his mark on the 2016 election this summer by drawing massive crowds, surging in the polls and, it seems, raising some serious dough.
Sanders' insurgent campaign raised $26 million in the third quarter — $2 million of it in the last day, according to campaign spokesman Michael Briggs. Almost all of that was in small-dollar donations. Sanders' campaign said the Vermont independent has gotten more than 1.3 million donations (from 650,000 donors — some have given multiple times) since Sanders started running.
Hillary garnered $28 million in the same period, NPR reports.
These numbers are surprising, considering Hillary has all the name recognition on her side. Sanders’ haul is even more impressive, NPR points out, because he has only held a few fundraisers to Clinton’s several. Most of his donations came in small-dollar amounts.
Sanders’ success among Democratic voters may be a result of his energetic speeches and dedication to liberal causes. Hillary has, at times, proven to be too moderate for this wing of the party and her attempt to connect to “everyday Americans” is somewhat off-putting (“I am a real person!”). Her email scandal, meanwhile, seems to have badly damaged her integrity.
Money is not everything in politics, but it’s a good indicator that Team Hillary has some serious competition in its presumed path to the nomination.
The official fundraising reports must be filed by Oct. 15.