That total came from 525,000 contributors (20 percent of whom were new contributors to the campaign) with the average contribution being $20. The campaign said that the majority of donors were under the age of 39 and that they accumulated 900,000 donations. Additionally Shakir said the campaign had $28 million cash on hand, owing to the money it was able to transfer from the Sanders’ Senate campaign committee.
Sanders is the third candidate to reveal his first quarter fundraising totals for the crowded 2020 Democratic primary. He outpaced both Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who raised $12 million and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg who raised $7 million since he launched an exploratory committee in January. Buttigieg raised his total from 158,550 donors. Harris' campaign told The Daily Beast that she raised hers from 138,00 donors.
Sanders' haul was an improvement from the one he scored last cycle when he raised $15 million in the first quarter he was in and, according to the campaign, hit the 900,000 donation threshold after 146 days. This go around, the Senator relied more on his name ID and previously-built infrastructure to score bigger fundraising wins early on in the cycle. It was previously reported that Sanders had raised $10 million of his 2020 haul in less than a week after announcing, meaning that he brought in the remaining $8.2 million in the subsequent five weeks.
Though Sanders fell short of the one million donations that his team had hoped to hit by the end of the cycle, the sheer size of the campaign's donor base illustrated the advantages that it enjoys this cycle. Having cultivated a small-dollar donor network that outpaces all of his competitors in the Democratic primary field, Sanders spent virtually nothing to raise the money he did.
Since becoming a fundraising powerhouse in the 2016 primary, and running a closer than expected race that propelled him to nationwide fame, Sanders and his campaign have been making a stronger argument for his electability this cycle. The numbers they revealed on Tuesday play into that, as the campaign portrayed them to be indicative of the broad and deep support the 77-year-old Senator has in the country.
The other candidate widely expected to post a large fundraising haul is former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, whose campaign has yet to reveal what he has raised since announcing his run.
O’Rourke, who entered the race three weeks after Sanders, said that he had raised $6.1 million in his first day as a candidate, which slightly outpaced Sanders’ first-day total of $5.9 million. He did not immediately reveal how those numbers broke down but said that the campaign had “more than 128,000 unique contributions.”
—With reporting by Sam Stein.