Campaign: Bernie Sanders raises nearly $6M in 24 hours

Record-smashing debut outstrips Democratic rivals

Bernie Sanders raised nearly $6 million in the 24 hours following his 2020 presidential campaign launch, his campaign said Wednesday, a record-smashing debut that easily outstripped his Democratic rivals.

Sanders raised $5,925,771 from 223,047 individual contributors across all 50 states in the campaign's first 24 hours, and more than $6 million from 225,000 individuals in total since the launch. And Sanders' campaign also noted that the average contribution was $27, "mirroring [Sanders'] 2016 campaign's average donation," a symbolic reflection of the Vermont senator's grassroots support that was key to his anti-establishment bid against Hillary Clinton.

Sanders haul bests totals publicized by the other Democrats in the race so far. Sen. Kamala Harris had previously set the standard when she raised $1.5 million in the 24 hours following her announcement in late January. Sen. Amy Klobuchar had announced raising $1 million in the first 48 hours after her campaign launch.

Other 2020 contenders have yet to release 24-hour fundraising numbers, and a more complete picture of the field's fundraising strength will come after campaigns file reports with the FEC after the first quarter.

However, data from ActBlue suggested Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised about $299,000 on the popular online fundraising platform in the 24 hours following her campaign announcement on New Year's Eve.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who announced his White House bid in mid-December, didn't announce a 24-hour total, but had over two weeks in the year-end FEC reporting period to raise funds, and his presidential committee reported raising about $220,000 over that span.

In announcing its fundraising haul, the Sanders campaign also said that "individuals contributed $600,000 in donations that will recur every month" -- a huge, dependable grassroots donor base that will afford the campaign a consistent budgeting baseline.

"The only way we will win this election and create a government and economy that work for all is with a grassroots movement -- the likes of which has never been seen in American history," Sanders said in his message announcing his campaign. "They may have the money and power. We have the people."

Sanders also enters the race with more than $9 million left in his US Senate campaign committee -- funds that he can transfer to his presidential campaign. That's more than any other contender besides Warren ($11 million) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ($10.3 million) have in their Senate campaign accounts, and coupled with the $6 million he raised since his presidential campaign launch, Sanders begins his 2020 White House bid with a precipitous financial advantage.

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