Just hours after launching his 2020 presidential bid, Bernie Sanders has raised an astonishing $4 million dollars from nearly 150,000 individual donors in all 50 states. The numbers are a new record for first-day donations for any candidate in the 2020 race, according to Business Insider.
Sanders announced that he was running for president Tuesday morning, and within hours, his campaign had received donations from more than 100,000 people, according to a post on Twitter from the senator from Vermont. Within 12 hours after launching his campaign, that had climbed to over 150,000 donors, totaling $4 million. The donations are largely smaller, with the average at just $27. That’s a similar average to what he saw during his 2016 run.
Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir says he can’t confirm the exact numbers at this point, but confirmed that they are “YUGE.”
By comparison, Kamala Harris, who launched her campaign on January 21, 2019, raised under half of that amount. The Democratic senator from California received $1.5 million in donations during the first 24 hours of her campaign. Until now, that was the largest amount of any individual in the 2020 race.
The numbers fly in the face of prognosticators who believe that Sanders will have a tough time recreating the passion that he did among voters in 2016, though only time will tell if the enthusiasm for a Sanders presidency stays strong throughout the next year and a half.
If you haven't yet, run to our website to chip in to our campaign before the end of the day. We need as many supporters as possible to contribute by midnight: https://t.co/oINXF8mLve pic.twitter.com/ZSTE6iQguv— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 20, 2019
Sanders launched his campaign in his home state with an interview on Vermont Public Radio.
“I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” Sanders said. “And what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country.”
The independent senator has been criticized for, among other things, his age. If elected, he would be 79 when he takes office, which would make him the oldest president in U.S. history. He headed off concerns that he might be too old for the position by assuring people that he was healthy, and that he should be judged by his energy level and record in Congress, not his age.
“I have been very blessed in my life with good health,” Sanders said. “I’m very lucky that as a kid I was a long-distance runner, and I think I had and still have a great deal of energy.”
Three years ago, we were told ideas like Medicare for all, tuition-free college and a $15 minimum wage were "radical" and "extreme." These policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans. Please chip in to help us complete that revolution. https://t.co/IxWz5IY5l5— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019