The eye-popping October-December fourth-quarter haul was $9 million more than Sanders brought in during the July-September period – and the largest quarterly figure to date for any of the Democrats seeking the White House this year.
The massive fundraising report came as Sanders – who’s making his second straight bid for the presidential nomination – has surged in national and early-voting-state polling the past two months.
The senator’s staffers said that they received over 1.8 million donations during the final three months of 2019, including contributions from 40,000 new donors that were received on New Year’s Eve, the final day of the fourth quarter. They added that the independent senator hauled in over $18 million in December from over 900,000 contributions, his best single month of fundraising.
“Bernie Sanders is closing the year with the most donations of any candidate in history at this point in a presidential campaign,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir touted.
“He is proving each and every day that working-class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy. You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win,” Shakir emphasized.
Sanders, along with fellow progressive standard-bearer Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, has been eschewing big bucks fundraisers from top-dollar donors, fueling his campaign solely with small-dollar and grassroots contributions.
The campaign noted that Sanders has raised over $96 million from over 5 million individual donations since he launched his campaign. The team added that the average contribution was $18 – and over 99.9 percent of donors have not maxed out and could contribute again. The Sanders campaign added that the overall haul did not include an additional $12.7 million the senator transferred from his other federal fundraising accounts, including his 2018 Senate re-election campaign.
The unveiling of Sanders’ numbers came one day after Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign announced that the now-former South Bend, Ind., mayor brought in over $24.7 million in campaign cash the past three months.
The haul by Buttigieg was roughly equal to the $24.8 million he raised in the April-June second quarter, when he outpaced the large field of White House hopefuls. Buttigieg’s fundraising dipped in the third quarter, when he brought in $19.1 million. His campaign touted that the fourth quarter haul brought his total amount raised since he launched his campaign early in 2019 to over $76 million.
Buttigieg – once the longest of long shots – has soared to top-tier status for the nomination, joining former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders and Warren, largely due to his fundraising prowess and surge in polls in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Campaigns aiming to showcase their fundraising figures have been blasting out their fourth-quarter numbers this week, with campaigns seeing lackluster cash hauls likely waiting until the end of January deadline to report their figures to the Federal Election Commission.
One of those candidates who may wait is Warren. The senator may experience a dip in campaign contributions as she deals with an edging down of her support in national and early-voting-state polls.
Warren raised nearly $25 million in the third quarter but appeared to be scrambling to reach $20 million in the fourth, as her campaign made the unusual move of releasing its total to date early in order to drum up more cash.
“So far this quarter, we’ve raised a little over $17 million. That’s a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter,” an email sent Friday from the Warren campaign read. “Elizabeth Warren needs your help. Right now. The goal is $20 million for the quarter — that's how much the campaign needs to keep our plans on track.”
Biden will likely enjoy a fundraising boost in the fourth quarter, after a relatively dismal July-September haul – when he brought in just $15 million.
“We have the chance to make Q4 our biggest fundraising quarter yet. That would certainly be a big deal,” the former vice president said Sunday in a fundraising email to supporters.
Biden's best fundraising quarter to date was the April-June period, when he brought in $21.5 million in the nine weeks after he declared his candidacy in late-April.
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang – a long shot for the nomination who’s risen in the polls and consistently made the debate stage – far outpaced his $10 million third-quarter haul, meanwhile, posting more than $16.5 million in the last quarter of the year.
The campaign initially estimated their haul at around $12.5 million, but Yang told Fox News in New Hampshire on Tuesday that he’d top that estimate. “We’re going to top that,” he said as he laughed. “We softballed it a little bit.”
The candidate also said his fundraising figures showed that his “campaign’s growing very, very quickly, growing faster than any other campaign in the field.”
Yang’s campaign staffers announced Wednesday that they brought in $1.3 million on New Year’s Eve, which they said was their single best day of fundraising.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign announced Wednesday that the congresswoman from Hawaii raised $3.4 million in the final three months of 2019, slightly higher than her third-quarter haul.
Campaign cash, along with public opinion polling, has been a crucial barometer of a candidate’s popularity and a campaign’s strength. Fundraising dollars could be used to run TV, radio and digital ads, beef up grassroots voter outreach and build up staff. And, the fourth-quarter fundraising figures – the last quarterly report before Iowa kicks off the primary and caucus presidential nominating calendar on Feb. 3 – will be scrutinized heavily by political pundits.
Fox News’ Tara Prindiville and Andres del Aguila contributed to this report.