Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign announced Tuesday morning that it raised $18 million over the past three months, a total that puts him behind the haul of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $24.8 million with a combination of high-dollar fundraisers and grassroots support.
Sanders’ team said they are transferring $6 million from other accounts, which will bring their total reported to the Federal Election Commission to around $24 million. The money in the second quarter of 2019 came from nearly one million individual contributions, with the average donation being $18. Almost 200,000 individual donations came in since the day of the first debate, the campaign said, and since its launch there have been nearly two million individual donations—a threshold the campaign didn’t hit until December 2015 during the senator’s last presidential bid.
Aides to the campaign said the most common occupation of contributors was teacher and the most common employer was Walmart, possibly a result of Sanders attending the company’s annual shareholder meeting to advocate for higher wages. Additionally, the campaign said, 45 percent of donors are 39 or younger; and some 99.3 percent of the donations were $100 or less.
“This is a movement built by working people all across this country,” said campaign manager Faiz Shakir. “While other candidates court big money at fancy fundraisers, this campaign is supported by teachers, retail workers, and nurses who are putting what little money they have behind the one candidate who can bring about the transformative change this country needs. Our strength is in numbers and we have a million-person movement committed to this campaign who can give over and over again.”
Prior to revealing the numbers, Shakir conceded that Sanders’ figures would likely be beaten by Buttigieg, citing the means by which the senator had fundraised. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have eschewed the traditional high-dollar fundraising circuit, with the former holding just one grassroots fundraiser in San Francisco in June—which, according to Shakir, brought in around $80,000.
In the first quarter, Sanders led the field with $18.2 million raised. He and Buttigieg are the only two to reveal their totals for this quarter so far.