Sanders exceeds expectations in US presidential fundraising

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders raises $25 million in third fundraising quarter of 2015, exceeds expectations

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at the Latino Heritage Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, September 26, 2015

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has raised $25 million in the third fundraising quarter of 2015, only $3 million less than the leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, individually released previews show.

Although Sanders is still lagging behind in the “fundraising race,” many argue that this rate is a milestone for Sanders, who tends to avoid traditional fundraising methods -such as meeting with big money donors.

Sanders' spokesman Michael Briggs on Wednesday announced that the campaign had reached one million online contributions, quicker than any other candidate. Briggs further informed that $2 million of the fund was raised on the last day before the deadline. The high number of small money donations indicate that Sanders has grassroots appeal.

Many connect Sanders’ recent progress to the patterns his fundraisers use. For instance, while Clinton’s fundraisers maxed out the donation limit of $2,700 at once, many of Sanders’ donors - funding at an average of $24.86 - are thought to donate the candidate several times. Therefore, while Clinton used up the donors in the first quarter, Sanders still had his donors in the second one.

Many believe Sanders’ fundraising trends (online funding, small-dollar donations) are reflections of his dynamism and “fresh breath” he brought to the fundraising system. It is believed that Sanders has accomplished appealing to the base of the community, while Clinton typically receive large amounts of donations from usual donors.

Sanders’ fundraising success is likely to create a positive effect on his campaign. The presidential hopeful, who defines himself as a socialist, now may “spice up” his campaign through TV ads or other platforms that he can use to make his voice heard louder.

Clinton’s fundraising performance is in a sharp decline as the amount of donations she received dropped from over $47 million in the previous quarter to $28 million in this one.

Many argue that recent decline in Clinton’s campaign donations is a result of e-mail scandal, which led her favorability in polls and among donors to drop.

Others believe Democrats are weighing the options, taking into account that Vice president Joe Biden might also join the presidential race’ and thus waiting to decide on the candidate to support.

TRTWorld and agencies