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Bernie Sanders just crushed his competition in the first 24 hours of fundraising for his presidential campaign

Sanders raked in nearly $4.5 million more than the no. 2 fundraiser, Sen. Kamala Harris.

by Rex Santus
Feb 20 2019, 6:08pm

Sen. Bernie Sanders crushed his competition in the Democratic field by hauling in almost $6 million in individual donations during the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign.

Sanders announced his candidacy early Tuesday and by the next morning, he’d pulled in nearly $4.5 million more than the no. 2 fundraiser so far, Sen. Kamala Harris. She raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours, which her campaign said was likely a record, at the time. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose politics are more closely aligned with Sanders’ than other candidates’, raised only $300,000.

Sanders vastly outdid the $1.5 million he raised in his 2016 campaign’s first day. This year, Sanders raised $5,925,771 from 223,047 individual donors from all 50 states in just one day. The average contribution came out to $27, the same average contribution that Sanders pulled in back in 2016.

The huge leap in donations indicates that Sanders’ popularity has not diminished in the three years since he entered the Democratic primary contest against Hillary Clinton. At the time, Sanders differentiated himself from Clinton, the eventual Democratic nominee, by refusing to take corporate PAC money; Clinton, meanwhile, raked in million upon millions in super PAC cash.

But 2020 is a different race. The majority of Democratic candidates have already sworn off corporate PAC money and are opting for small, individual donations instead. It’s a concept Sanders popularized in 2016 while still repeatedly breaking fundraising records. He raked in $44 million in donations in March of that year, which is just a smidge higher than the last $43.5 million record set by Sanders in the previous month.

“Powerful special interests may have the money, but we have the people,” Sanders tweeted Tuesday shortly after announcing his 2020 run. “Supporters from all 50 states have donated to our unprecedented grassroots campaign.”

Sanders’ other competition, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, announced that her campaign raised $1 million over two days. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro have not announced donation figures.

Cover image: Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 6/23/16 Bernie Sanders gives his "Where We Go From Here" Speech at a rally at Town Hall in New York City.