Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised nearly $6 million since launching his 2020 bid for the White House -- a day ago.
The independent senator from Vermont’s presidential campaign announced Wednesday morning that they received an eye-popping $5.9 million in contributions in the 24 hours since 7 a.m. Tuesday, when Sanders officially announced his candidacy.
The campaign touted that 223,047 individuals made contributions, averaging nearly $27 per person just like during his 2016 bid.
The haul was the product of an aggressive fundraising push by the Sanders campaign, with emails and texts asking for contributions late into Tuesday evening.
One email, hitting inboxes around 9 p.m. ET, pointed out that “as the clock ticks toward midnight, we’re pretty close to reaching a pair of milestones we frankly didn’t think would be possible on day one.”
The large fundraising haul is more than double the $1.5 million Sen. Kamala Harris of California – one of Sanders’ many rivals for the nomination – raised last month in the first 24 hours of her campaign. Harris had been the largest first-day fundraiser among the ever-expanding field of 2020 Democrats.
Sanders now enters the race as an apparent leader in the polls, thanks to his nationwide name ID, a massive campaign email list of supporters across the country and a powerful digital team.
But while Sanders is working to rekindle the energy of his 2016 primary bid which was effectively a one-on-one contest between him and Hillary Clinton at the end, he faces a much broader field this time -- against a number of candidates who have adopted his big-government policies.
The Republican National Committee, in a statement, called him a "self-avowed socialist who wants to double your taxes so the government can take over your health care."
On Wednesday, President Trump tried to brand him "Crazy Bernie."
Sanders hit back with a tweet calling Trump "racist" -- and with another fundraising appeal.
The progressive firebrand announced his candidacy in a video emailed to supporters, as well as with interviews on Vermont Public Radio and CBS News. His campaign spotlighted that the video was viewed more than 8.3 million times across social media.
In 2016, Sanders was a longshot against all-but-certain Democratic nominee Clinton. But his crushing defeat of Clinton in that year’s New Hampshire Democratic primary launched him into a marathon battle with the eventual nominee. The showdown didn’t end until he endorsed Clinton that summer.