Bernie Sanders Attracts Huge Crowds And Major Cash

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is drawing the largest crowds and raising lots of money for the 2016 presidential campaign. He has also raised more than $15 million in his first quarter as a declared presidential candidates, CNN Politics reported today. With polls showing Sanders closing in on Hillary nationally and in Iowa and New Hampshire, Bernie might well be the strongest challenger to Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president right now.

Sanders declared his candidacy for president in April of this year, and since then received 400,000 donations about more than 250,000 donors, for a total of $15 million. About 99 percent of those donations were less than $250, and the average donation was $33.51, CNN Politics magazine reported. Most donations are obtained online and by handing out donation envelopes during his campaign rallies.

“We have (raised money) very, very differently than other campaigns,” Sanders told CNN Politics, “But I believe we will be able to raise, as will be indicated in this reporting period and in the future, enough money to run a winning campaign.”

At the same time, Hillary Clinton’s campaign raises $45 million, more than Barack Obama’s campaign raised during the same quarter in 2012.

The Sanders campaign reports having $12 million cash on hand and no loans or debts it owes, Politico reports. Also, the campaign has 50 staff members on payroll, including 30 in Iowa.

Campaigning in Iowa, the Vermont Senator spoke to a crowd of almost 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin after attracting a crowd of 5,000 recently in Denver, Colorado, NBC News reported today.

“Tonight we have made history,” Sanders declared in Madison, Wisconsin, “Tonight we have more people at a meeting for a candidate for president of the United States than any other candidates have.”

The Washington Post is reporting that “Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are making the race a lot more interesting,” referring to the surges of the respective Democratic and Republican candidates who are challenging the front-runners in both parties respectively. While Trump is showing up in second place in some polls in his challenge to Republican front runner Jeb Bush, Sanders is likewise challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who declined to run for president for 2016, has said, “I love what Bernie is talking about,” the Boston Herald has reported, further stating, “Bernie’s out talking about the issues that the American people want to hear about.”

Will Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination in 2016? Only time will tell, but a look back at 2008 suggests that it may be possible.

[Photo of Bernie Sanders by Scott Olson for Getty Images]