Bernie Sanders Raises $26 Million, One Small, Average American Donor At A Time

Bernie Sanders is breathing down Hillary Clinton's neck.

The grass-roots, crazy-haired, socialist Vermont senator revealed that he's gaining some serious ground in his campaign for president, raising a startling amount in funds the last quarter.

Even more significant: Sanders' money is coming from average Americans, online, and one small donation at a time. Clinton, on the other hand, is pulling funds from more traditional sources, making Bernie's fundraising a bit more significant, an analysis from the Washington Post argued.

Let's look at the stats. By the end of September, Bernie Sanders pulled in $26 million over only seven events. Clinton held 58 events, and her camp hasn't yet revealed how much money she brought in. Since declaring her presidency, she's raised about $75 million to Sanders' $41 million, Slate added.

This is important because it demonstrates where the hearts of the American public are heading. Sanders has raked in an impressive amount of small-dollar donations, which, according to the Post, means Bernie's spent more time meeting the people who may vote for him rather than rich people with money. He's also saving his cash for important things, not "lavish events."

bernie supporters 2

And it's by more traditional means that Hillary is raising money.

"That story line is — as you might have guessed — not a good one for Clinton. It reinforces everything that people already believe about the dynamics of the contest — that Sanders is the energy candidate who is speaking the language of the base and that Clinton continues to struggle to inspire that sort of devotion and passion," wrote Chris Cillizza.

The polls are pretty promising, too. With his grassroots campaign -- decidedly leaving out billionaires -- Bernie Sanders' support has grown from 4 percent at the beginning of the year to 27.5 percent last month.

Now, with a estimated total of $65 million in his pockets, Bernie can focus on TV ads to get his message out to even more people. And with the scandal involving the Democratic forerunner's email server still itching inside voters' ears, that may spell trouble.

According to the Huffington Post, Edward Snowden's comments about Hillary and her email server may make matters worse if they turn out to be true. Essentially, Snowden has said that it's "completely ridiculous" for anyone to believe that her emails were safe. He said as much in an interview with Al Jazeera Thursday.

"When the unclassified systems of the United States government, which has a full-time information security staff regularly gets hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado, is more secure is completely ridiculous... This is a problem because anyone who has the clearances that the secretary of State has, or the director of any top level agency has, knows how classified information should be handled."

And if someone else had done with Hillary is alleged to have done, they'd be fired and face prosecution, he added.

Hillary Clinton 2

Apparently, the Democratic National Committee is shaking in its boots. Not only is Bernie's gaining, but the beloved Vice President Joe Biden could enter the race and steal away some of Clinton's supporters, but they're apparently getting "increasingly frustrated by (her) failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices."

Is this Bernie Sanders' moment? According to Slate, he was dismissed as a candidate early in the race because no one believed he had the money. Now that's proving to be a weak argument. The Post also published an analysis of Sanders as a presidential candidate, arguing that he could transform the country. Check it out here.

What do you think? Does Sanders have a chance? What do you think about the email scandal?

[Photo Courtesy Scott Olson, Scott Eisen /Getty Images]