Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) raised eight figures from his base in less than a week of announcing his presidential campaign.

That haul came with help from 359,914 donors, making for an average contribution amount of $27.78. but as the New York Times noted, 39 percent of those contributors were from email addresses that hadn’t given to Sanders in 2016. The average age of Sanders’ donors was 30.

And of the nearly 360,000 donors, only 20 donated the maximum allowable contribution in a given election cycle of $2,800. This means 99.99 percent of Sanders’ donors can give again and again. 48,000 donors agreed to give recurring monthly contributions, amounting to over $1 million in guaranteed donations each month.

And while many of those email addresses may have been from former donors using new contact information — like college students who graduated or donors sending money from new work email addresses — the fact that roughly 140,000 of the nearly 360,000 donors used new email addresses suggests that Sanders’ base of support has already swelled well beyond his 2016 coalition.

Perhaps most notably, the Sanders campaign told CNN that 12,000 of those donors were registered Republicans, which suggests Sanders may be competitive in the general election as he would siphon financial support — and possibly even several thousand votes — from President Trump, if he wins the Democratic nomination.

By the end of 2015, Sanders raised around $73 million, according to the Times. However, because his first-day haul in 2019 was significantly greater than his first-day haul in 2015, the paper estimates that Sanders may very well break the $100 million mark by the end of this year. That would put Sanders in the position of breaking the eyebrow-raising $230 million in contributions he took in in his previous run for the presidency.

A candidate’s early fundraising numbers are critical to stand out in a primary as crowded as the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. With $10 million already raised after less than a week, the Vermont senator is in an excellent position to open field offices and hire organizers in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as in Super Tuesday primary states like Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia, where voters will all go to the polls on March 3.


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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