Bernie Sanders made history by becoming the first presidential candidate to collect 2 million individual campaign donations. He broke President Barack Obama’s record of 1 million individual donations in the 2008 elections. Weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, this is definitely a good news for his campaign.
A good chunk of the donations come from the internet, with an average contribution for the campaign being around $30. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, had raised more money overall than Sanders — $77.5 million to $41.5 million — as of Sept. 30, the last deadline for reporting contributions to the Federal Election Commission. But Sanders received money from more donors than any other candidate from either party.
To celebrate the feat, Sander’s campaign released an ad. Narrated by Bernie Sanders, the ad will run on television and internet.
Though the small donations do not add up in the long run, it has definitely reflected on the fact that Bernie campaign has the support of a good number of people without the reliance on a Super PAC. Sanders mentioned the donations in a message to supporters.
“What our vision of a political revolution has already accomplished is to show that we can run a strong and we believe winning campaign without a super PAC, without contributions from millionaires and billionaires. We are enormously proud that we have received more individual contributions at this point in the campaign than any candidate who is not an incumbent president. As the campaign continues to succeed, we expect those numbers to grow exponentially.”
The Boston Globe reported that Martin Shkreli, who has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, donated to the Sanders campaign. Shkreli donated $2,700 to the Sanders campaign — the maximum individual contribution — on Sept. 28.
Damn @BernieSanders is my boy with that Kosovo reference. Gets my full endorsement. I did donate to him…
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 14, 2015
However, Sanders rejected his money. But instead of returning it to Shkreli, Sanders donated it to the Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington. Sanders campaign spokesperson Briggs talked about the controversial donation.
“We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed.”
Sanders received two endorsements on Thursday — one from the Communications Workers of America, a major union with 700,000 members, the other from the progressive group Democracy For America. DFA endorsed after nearly 90 percent of its members said they backed Bernie.
NPR reported that the DFA, a liberal-organizing group that grew out of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, threw its support behind Sanders. (Dean has personally endorsed Clinton.) DFA’s move was no major surprise, since the group tried to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 race, but it said nearly 90 percent of the members picked Sanders as their top choice. DFA executive director Charles Chamberlain talked about the endorsement.
“Bernie Sanders is an unyielding populist progressive who decisively won Democracy for America members’ first presidential primary endorsement because of his lifelong commitment to taking on income inequality.”
He has already been endorsed by the American Postal Workers Union and National Nurses United. That’s in addition to a CNN/WMUR poll that showed Sanders leading in New Hampshire by a good 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — over Clinton.
Politics was once believed to be the territory for the rich, or the friends of the rich. Bernie Sanders hs changed the equations in his favor. Without any corporate financial support, coming from a modest upbringing by Jewish Polish immigrants in a Brooklyn tenement building, he has garnered good amount of support.
After a difficult debate appearance in November, when he seemed ill-prepared for the way the Paris terrorist attacks would overshadow everything, and a hernia operation which kept him off the campaign trail this month, the 2 million mark sure comes as a good news for Sanders.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]