Bernie Sanders officially jumped into the presidential race this week, and while some might have dismissed his entrance as a stunt, the Indepedent who is runing as a Democrat raised more than $1.5 million in the first 24 hours of his candidacy. Not only does this show that Bernie Sanders is a little more popular than political pundits expected, he has also demonstrated just how weak the Republican field might actually be when it comes to taking on the other side.
While Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both boasted about being able to raise $1 million in their first 24 hours, both fell short of what Bernie Sanders was able to do. It also shows that while the Republican competitors will likely eventually overtake Bernie Sanders in fundraising, he has popularity of the people, while they have certain friends with deeper pockets.
The Vermont Senator’s campaign said that 100,000 people signed up on Sanders’ website, and 35,000 made contributions.
“This is a remarkable start for Bernie’s campaign,” Sanders top strategist, Tad Devine, said in a statement.
Bernie claimed that his average donation was just $43 dollars, showing that a lot of people are rooting for this particular outsider. It also shows that there are plenty of people who simply want nothing to do with what the Republicans have to offer. This has been a problem for the GOP for a number of years on the national stage.
In 2012, President Obama was seen as being beatable. Mitt Romney couldn’t take into a Republican populist movement, mostly because people didn’t see him as all that likable. While there are some Republicans who have stronger support among the base, there still aren’t many who are going to pull from the other side of the aisle. A Democrat many see only as someone who guarantees that Hilary Clinton has an actual competitor is outraising the top candidates on the Republican side.
While Cruz and Rubio will likely dismiss the 24-hour windfall as Bernie Sanders’ staunchest supporters giving all the money he’s likely to get, there still has to be a bit of a worry that there’s already someone bringing in real dough so quickly. Someone like Rand Paul is basically the equivalent of the Independent on the right, but even he hasn’t seen that kind of push. If someone were drawing conclusions about the presidential race, Bernie Sanders could be illustrating another four years for the Democrats in the White House.
[Image courtesy of Bill Moyers]