Home / Politics / Political News / Bernie Sanders Raises $10 Million in Less Than a Week

Bernie Sanders Raises $10 Million in Less Than a Week

A clutch of advisers to Senator Bernie Sanders began arriving at the Capitol Hill townhouse that served as his makeshift headquarters before dawn last Tuesday, where they readied themselves to track, among other things, the deluge of donations that would land after Mr. Sanders made his presidential campaign official.

As the team snacked on doughnuts that Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign manager, had brought for launch day, one laptop screen showed a map of the United States. It would light up with an orange dot every time someone gave with the location of each donation.

Within minutes of the 7 a.m. announcement, the whole screen was glowing orange, according to people in the room.

By Monday, after less than a week as a presidential candidate, Mr. Sanders has collected $10 million from 359,914 donors, campaign officials said. But perhaps just as daunting a figure for his rivals is this: Nearly 39 percent of those donors used an email address that had never before been used to give to Mr. Sanders.

For Mr. Sanders, the flood of money from fresh email addresses suggested to his team that he was dramatically expanding a donor network that had already dwarfed his 2020 competition.

“Our second day,” said Ari Rabin-Havt, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, “was bigger than anybody else’s first day.”

[Keep up with the Democratic field with our candidate tracker.]

There is little surprise that Mr. Sanders, whose 2016 Democratic primary run was powered by $230 million in grass-roots giving, would post big fund-raising numbers if he ran again. But the size of his advantage — he raised $5.9 million in his first day as a candidate, nearly 20 times what Senator Elizabeth Warren did in her first day and nearly four times more than Senator Kamala Harris’s $1.5 million — has established him as a financial front-runner in a crowded Democratic field.

“I think the fact that he has raised so much, so fast, so early should be concerning for anyone else who wants to pick up the liberal flag in this nominating contest,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist who is unaligned in the race.

Of Mr. Sanders’s wave of day one donations, only 17 people gave him the maximum allowable amount of $2,800, meaning he can ask more than 99.99 percent of his donors to give again. As of late Monday, only 20 donors have given Mr. Sanders the legal maximum; another 46 gave $2,700, the limit in the last campaign.

More than 48,000 donors have already agreed to give to Mr. Sanders over and over, signing up for recurring donations to be drawn from their credit cards worth a combined more than $1 million each month, according to statistics provided to The New York Times by the campaign. The average overall contribution was just under $26.

But the fact that such a large share of donations came from new email addresses is perhaps the most significant figure beyond the overall totals. While some fraction of those new email addresses are surely old donors with updated contact information — college students who graduated, for instance, or people who changed jobs — the idea that a sizable share of Mr. Sanders’s donors could be new undercuts the hope among rivals that Mr. Sanders had maxed out a limited, if impassioned, minority of the party when he ran four years ago.

“There’s an assumption he’s relying on that loyal base of support from 2016,” said Jen Psaki, a Democratic strategist and former White House communications director for President Barack Obama. But a rush of new donors “would make people question the assumption that Bernie supporters are solely Bernie loyalists from 2016, end of story,” she said.

Mr. Sanders raised $73 million in 2015. This year, he entered the race roughly 70 days earlier in the calendar and raised four times as much on his first day, raising the possibility of a $100 million haul in 2019.

Hillary Clinton, who beat Mr. Sanders in the 2016 primary, raised more than him in that race. But that was with the weight of the Democratic Party establishment behind her, a huge list of supporters from her 2008 run and four million more names from a group called Ready for Hillary that had gathered grass-roots supporters ahead of her campaign.

No 2020 rival of Mr. Sanders has anything close to that.

In a move that seemed designed to compete with Mr. Sanders for small donors, Ms. Warren’s campaign announced on Monday that she would forgo all traditional private fund-raisers and one-on-one meetings with big donors.

Mr. Rabin-Havt tried to tamp down long-term financial expectations for the Sanders campaign. “It will be remarkable to emulate those 2015 numbers again,” he said.

Money alone is not determinative in presidential politics. In the 2016 Republican primary, a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush burned through $100 million as Mr. Bush finished no better than fourth in any of the first three states. But money does pay for television ads and field staff, and Mr. Sanders’s fund-raising advantage will allow him to take risks and make investments others cannot afford.

“He can build a ground game not just in the first four primary states but into the Super Tuesday states,” Ms. Psaki said. “He can expand his playing field in places like California.”

The Sanders campaign shared new statistics on its donors so far, which skew younger than is typical. An internal analysis showed more than 108,000 of Mr. Sanders’s first day contributors were 39 years old or younger, and they gave a combined $2.5 million of the $5.9 million raised. The most common age for a Sanders contributor was 30. Relatedly, more than $3 million of the donations that first day came from mobile devices, a sign of both shifting habits and the relative youth of his donor base. The campaign did not provide a breakdown by gender.

Mr. Sanders has closely tracked his fund-raising haul, campaign officials said, and Mr. Rabin-Havt said that the senator wrote much of the campaign’s initial 1,400-word email announcement himself.

The email did not explicitly ask for money, instead directing people to sign a petition supporting Mr. Sanders. Of those who signed, about 40 percent also contributed, his campaign said.

Mr. Sanders’s two top digital advisers in 2020, Tim Tagaris and Robin Curran, are both veterans of his 2016 run, but others from that team are on or expected to join other campaigns.

Mr. Rabin-Havt noted the universe of Democratic donors was still growing. “We haven’t hit a diminishing rate of return on this yet,” he said.

He added that the Sanders campaign believes it has a unique advantage.

“The secret sauce for Bernie Sanders fund-raising,” he said, “is Bernie.”


Source link

About admin

World Media News delivers breaking news, headlines and top stories from business, politics, entertainment and more in the US and worldwide

Check Also

Greta Thunberg hopes to join climate protests during London visit | Environment

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old founder of the school strikes for action against climate change, has …

Leave a Reply

Translate »