The size of a candidate’s war chest can say a lot about the strength of his or her campaign. But there’s also something to be gleaned from the total number of contributors to a campaign: Having more contributors, even if they’re kicking in small amounts, can show more widespread support than a campaign that is raising larger amounts of money from a smaller number of donors.
Bernie Sanders‘ campaign announced an important fundraising milestone on Wednesday, bringing in more than $25 million in the last three months—nearly as much as Hillary Clinton, who remains the odds-on-favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination despite growing leads for Sanders in early-state polls. Perhaps more significant, Sanders boasts almost twice as many individual contributors to his campaign as Barack Obama did at this point in 2007 on the way to his upset win against Clinton. It’s a reflection of strong grassroots support for Sanders, the Vermont Senator.
While Clinton is far ahead in overall fundraising, her third-quarter financial advantage against Sanders is smaller than it was against Obama during the same period in 2007, as shown here.
And Sanders has significantly outpaced Obama in total individual contributors, as shown here, based on statements from the campaigns themselves. (Clinton’s campaign hasn’t said how many individual contributors she has.)
Sanders is still significantly behind where Obama was in total fundraising at this point in 2007, and he lags Clinton by a big margin—Clinton has raised a total of about $75 million compared to about $40 million raised by Sanders. Clinton also has a Super PAC, Priorities USA Action, that is raising millions to support her, something Sanders lacks.
But Clinton’s financial advantage against the surging Sanders is supposed to be her saving grace, and the latest numbers could give worry to Democrats already rattled by her sluggish polling numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire.
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