Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vermont) presidential campaign surprised political observers on Friday by claiming a huge fundraising total just one day after announcing his White House bid.
The self-proclaimed democratic socialist’s team said he’s raised $US1.5 million dollars in his pursuit of the Democratic nomination in 2016.
This puts him ahead of other notable presidential candidates who have disclosed first-day donations, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
One name is conspicuously missing from the list: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has not released her first-day haul. However the Democratic front-runner is a proven fundraiser is dominating in the polls testing the race.
Sanders’ fundraising came mostly from small donors. According to The Washington Post, the average donation was $US43.54, with about 35,000 supporters contributing. Campaign advisers predicted that Sanders may be able to raise about $US50 million in similar donations during the primary.
“This is a remarkable start for Bernie’s campaign,” Sanders adviser Tad Devine said in a statement. “People across America are yearning for authentic leadership that tells them the truth about what is holding back our nation.”
If Democratic history is any guide, Sanders’ fundraising feat doesn’t mean he’s any closer to the nomination. In the 2004 presidential race, for example, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) stunned primary-watchers by raising millions online from small donors, but flamed out early.
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