Bernie Sanders Raises $25 Million In Third Quarter

Bernie Sanders has slipped in the polls but retains his ability to raise money.

With the end of the quarter coming yesterday, campaigns are at the end of their quarterly reporting period for the Federal Election Committee. Among the first to report is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who raised an impressive amount of money over the past three months:

Bernie Sanders raised more than $25 million in the third quarter of the year, his aides announced Tuesday.

The large haul demonstrates the Vermont senator, despite slipping to third place behind Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden in national polling averages, remains a fundraising juggernaut. Sanders also recently revealed that 1 million people have donated to his bid for the White House — a milestone he reached faster than any Democratic presidential candidate in history.

Sanders’ staffers said the most common profession among his contributors during the quarter is teaching and the most common employers of his donors are Walmart, Amazon and Starbucks. The average contribution was just over $18, they said.

“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” elections, 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.”


Sanders’ aides said the second best fundraising day of the year was Monday, when Sanders announced a plan to tax high-earning CEOs in an effort to reduce the widening gap between the nation’s rich and poor.

Though Shakir did not mention Warren by name, his statement could be interpreted as a reference in part to Sanders’ 2020 opponent, who said she would not participate in big-money fundraisers in the primary but would not unilaterally disarm against President Donald Trump in a general election. Sanders has sworn off high-dollar fundraisers for the entire campaign.

These numbers compare favorably with those from earlier in the year and are a strong indication of the fact that Sanders will be able to afford to stay in the race for quite a long time to come. In the first quarter of 2019, Sanders raised $18 million, which was among the highest reported by any of the declared candidates at that time. Similarly, he raised roughly the same amount of money in the second quarter, which put him near the top for that quarter as well. The fact that he was able to improve on those numbers by roughly 39% is a strong indication that, notwithstanding the fact that he has slipped in the polls recently to the point where he is now running in third place behind former Vice-President Biden and Senator Warren, he will be able to continue to compete in this race well past the February primaries and caucuses and into Super Tuesday on March 4th. Where he goes from there depends on the voters.

Update: It was reported this morning that Sanders underwent an emergency heart procedure last night and will be off the campaign trail for the foreseeable future:

Bernie Sanders experienced chest discomfort during a campaign event on Tuesday and had two stents inserted to address a blockage in an artery, his campaign announced.

“Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,” senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”

Sanders has kept up a relentless campaign schedule, particularly during the summer months, and often makes three or four stops a day in different regions. He was scheduled to appear at a gun policy forum in Nevada Wednesday, and then make seven stops in California on Thursday and Friday.

At 78, Sanders is the oldest candidate in the Democratic field. But the senator projects vigor belying his age on the trail, and has not been faced with questions regarding stamina and mental acuity that have plagued former Vice President Joe Biden, who is two years younger.

Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm, confirmed to POLITICO that the Sanders campaign canceled the entirety of its recently scheduled ad buy in Iowa on broadcast and cable television. The Sanders campaign had announced a $1.3 million ad buy on Monday in the state, and it was set to begin on Thursday. Mike Casca, a spokesman for Sanders, said it’s “just a postponement” and did not elaborate further.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator Sanders.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    Sanders had two stents inserted into a blocked artery today. The procedure went well, he’s recovering, but will temporarily suspend his campaign.

  2. Gustopher says:

    I’m glad Bernie went to the hospital when he did, and that he’s expected to make a full recovery. Good on him, feel better Bernie, get back to your scowling self soon, it suits you.

    But maybe — just maybe — we don’t really need people over 70 running for President.

  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Ya think?

  4. An Interested Party says:

    Sanders was already starting to fade…this kind of medical problem isn’t going to do him any favors…

  5. EddieInCA says:

    Purely anecdotal. My wife is a big Bernie fan. This morning she said to me after the news about Bernie: “I’d better figure out if I’m gonna go Warren or Joe”.

    I found it interesting that she didn’t say “Warren or Biden” or “Elizabeth or Joe”. She said “Warren or Joe”, which makes me think she’s leaning Biden. I didn’t ask her, though.

  6. Tyrell says:

    Now maybe Bernie can send some of that money to the people on Medicare so they can get a better doctor – like the kind that went to medical school.