Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Bernie Sanders raises $18.2 million for White House run, takes fundraising lead

Bernie Sanders raises $18.2 million for White House run, takes fundraising lead

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Park, in Los Angeles, on March 23.

Candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to be USA president began on Monday to disclose how much cash they were able to raise in the first quarter of the year - an early test of the energy and enthusiasm of a campaign.

The issue has become a flashpoint in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The $7 million number is a big one for any presidential candidate to raise in one quarter, especially for a previously unknown mayor of a relatively small city who is still operating in the exploratory committee phase.

Shakir said that the Sanders has campaign has $28 million in cash on hand.

Looking at how much each candidate raised in the first quarter divided by how long they've been in the race found that Sanders averaged $444,000 a day; Harris $171,000 a day; and Buttigieg $103,000 a day.

California senator Kamala Harris said on Monday night she raised $12m since announcing her presidential bid in January. That get-together drew 2.6 million viewers in March 2016.

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Sanders, a USA senator from Vermont making his second run for the White House, received 900,000 donations from 525,000 individual donors with the vast majority under age 39, campaign manager Faiz Shakir told reporters.

Just as important as the bottom line: Buttigieg said he has nearly 160,000 unique donors, a mark that meets the new grassroots fundraising thresholds that the Democratic National Committee has set for candidates to qualify for the initial summer debates. His campaign said the average contribution size was $20 - a figure that is significantly lower than O'Rourke's $43 average contribution size. "There are a lot of voters that a Democrat is going to need to get elected president who watch Fox News". Still, her campaign reported receiving 98 percent of contributions in amounts smaller than $100.

But O'Rourke's average $48 donation means he can keep coming back to his huge network of online supporters time and again - the same method that he used to set Senate fundraising records in his 2018 bid against Sen.

"No bundling, no sneaking off to posh fundraisers with fancy hors d'eouvres", said campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

One reason the first quarter reports are so important is that the Democratic National Committee instituted a fundraising and polling policy that outlines who can qualify for Democratic primary debates.

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