Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2019 with an average donation of $18.07.
The massive haul beats out his prior fundraising totals during his second bid for the presidency in which he brought in around $18 million and is, at the moment, the largest single quarter reported of any 2020 candidates throughout the year. Sanders is the first among his rivals to reveal his numbers for this quarter.
That total, from 1.4 million donations, was fueled in part by a record-setting month for the campaign in September and arrived at a moment when the Vermont senator had appeared to be stagnating in some polls.
“Bernie is proud to be the only candidate running to defeat Donald Trump who is 100 percent funded by grassroots donations—both in the primary and in the general,” Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said. “Media elites and professional pundits have tried repeatedly to dismiss this campaign, and yet working-class Americans keep saying loudly and clearly that they want a political revolution.”
In the second fundraising quarter, both former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg outpaced Sanders in fundraising with $21.5 million and $24.8 million, respectively, though unlike Sanders they relied on high-dollar fundraisers to help fuel the totals.
The Sanders campaign also said the final day of the third quarter was the second biggest fundraising day of the campaign and that “teacher” was the most common occupation of his donors, with the most common employers being Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart. Since launching in February, they have raised $61.5 million from 3.3 million individual donations, with more than 99.9 percent not maxed out and still able to continue giving money to the campaign.
And they're immediately putting that money to use in the first caucus state.
On Tuesday afternoon the Sanders campaign announced that they had purchased a $1.3-million ad buy in Iowa and released their first paid TV ad of the cycle thus far.
There will be both 30-second and 60-second versions of the ad that will begin running on Thursday morning and continue, in this initial buy, for two weeks.
The news comes as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who led a recent Iowa poll, announced a $10-million-plus buy in the early voting states. Some $4.7 million of that is devoted to television ad buys in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina during the first two months of next year. Warren's campaign has yet to reveal her third quarter fundraising total.