Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is not only a frontrunner in polls, but also in the amount of money his campaign has raised so far in 2019.

The Vermont senator’s first quarter campaign finance report shows an impressive haul of $18.2 million. Washington Post reporter Sam Stein tweeted that in addition to the $14 million his campaign already had at the time of its launch, Sanders ended the first quarter with $32 million in money raised, and 88% of that money was raised from donors giving less than $200. The average donation to the Sanders campaign was just $20 per person.

Sen. Sanders’ end-of-quarter fundraising is even more impressive when comparing his haul to the amounts raised by other top-tier candidates. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) raised $12 million, and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg — who recently surged to third place in a recent Iowa poll — raised $7 million.

However, Sanders’ quarterly fundraising total isn’t all that surprising considering how Sanders did in the early hours of his campaign. Within three hours of his official announcement, the Vermont senator raised more than $1.2 million from 42,000 donors, which was a larger amount than what candidates Harris and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) raised in their first 24 hours.

SEIU alumnus Tim Tagaris, who helps coordinate online support for Sanders’ campaign, tweeted that in addition to 88% of donors giving less than $200, a majority of those donors are younger than 39 years old, arguably making the 77-year-old Vermonter the favored candidate of millennial voters in the 2020 Democratic primary. The campaign fell short of its ambitious goal of one million donors before the end of the first quarter fundraising deadline, but according to Tagaris, the campaign still managed to come close to 900,000 individual donors.

Bernie Sanders is running on a platform that includes a single-payer, Medicare for All system in which the current for-profit health insurance model would be rendered obsolete. He’s also running on implementing a $15/hour federal minimum wage (more than twice the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour), tuition-free public college, and the Green New Deal, in which the U.S. economy would be revamped to phase out use of fossil fuels and replace fossil fuel-powered infrastructure with a system powered by renewable energy.


Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.

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