The Sanders Campaign Is Making Bank

Photo: Cheryl Senter (AP)

In recent weeks, the Democratic primary for president has essentially turned into a three-person race between Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. But while Sanders’ campaign is already being written off by some pundits, fundraising totals released on Tuesday indicate he’s not anywhere close to finished.

The Sanders campaign reported raising a whopping $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2019, which ended Monday. That’s up from the $18 million he raised in both of the first two quarters of 2019, and more than he raised over the same period in 2015 during his first campaign for president. Last month, the Sanders campaign announced it had hit one million donors; the campaign also told Politico its average donation over the third quarter was “just over $18.” The campaign also said that the most common occupation among its donors was teacher, and that some of their donors’ top employers include Walmart, Amazon, and Starbucks. (You mean to tell me your average Starbucks barista doesn’t subscribe to Howard Schultz’s political philosophy??)

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Sanders’ numbers are an indication that his grassroots support and fundraising prowess is still strong, despite the fact that the campaign hasn’t been able to break out ahead of the pack. Most recent national polling has shown Sanders either in third or in a virtual tie for second with a surging Warren behind Biden. (The caveat here, of course, is that we’re still more than four months away from the Iowa caucus.)

Although most campaigns haven’t released their fundraising totals yet (the deadline to report to the FEC is Oct. 15), South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also announced on Tuesday that he had brought in $19 million over the third quarter. The Buttigieg campaign told the Wall Street Journal that its average donation over this period was $40. Despite Buttigieg’s own enormous fundraising (unlike Sanders and Warren—during the primary, at least—Buttigieg is not swearing off big donor money in financing his campaign), his polling has been mired in the mid-single digits nationally.

We’ve contacted the campaigns of Biden, Warren, and Sen. Kamala Harris—whose struggling campaign is reportedly going through a reshuffle—for details on their third quarter fundraising totals, and will update when and if we receive them.

Update, 5:34 p.m. ET: The Harris campaign announced this afternoon that it raised $11.6 million in the third quarter.

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