Bernie Sanders Raises Nearly $35 Million In Last Quarter Of 2019

A big fundraising quarter for the Senator from Vermont.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced this morning that it had raised an astounding $34.8 million in the final quarter of 2019, surpassing his hauls for the other fundraising quarters of the year and positioning him well for the battles that lie ahead:

Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019 for his White House bid, his campaign said Thursday — a massive sum fueled by his online fundraising machine that may send a financial jolt throughout the Democratic race.

Sanders raised more than $96 million in 2019 alone, and his fourth-quarter total is one of the biggest quarterly hauls reported by a presidential candidate at this point in the campaign.

The fourth-quarter total was one of the clearest signs yet of the momentum Sanders has picked up in recent months.

He has been drawing large and enthusiastic crowds at campaign events, including more than 14,000 at a rally with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in southern California last month, according to the campaign’s estimate. And he sits at or near the top of recent polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states on the nominating calendar.

The Vermont senator’s standing in the race less than five weeks before the Iowa caucuses marks a remarkable political revival for a candidate who struggled to gain traction over the summer and suffered a heart attack in October that sidelined him from the race and prompted some supporters to wonder if he would even continue his campaign.

Since that time, Sanders has racked up endorsements from prominent figures on the left, including Ocasio-Cortez, a rising liberal star who has campaigned for him in Iowa, California, New York and Nevada.


The campaign raised more than $18 million in December alone, its best fundraising month to date, officials said. The average donation in the fourth quarter was $18.53, they said.

His campaign said Wednesday it surpassed 5 million donations — a milestone Sanders did not reach in the 2016 campaign until after Super Tuesday, officials said.

In the final days of the quarter, the campaign peppered supporters with email appeals asking them to give $2.70 repeatedly to help the campaign reach its goal of 5 million donations.

The campaign drew money from 40,000 new donors on the final day of the quarter, and nearly 300,000 new donors throughout the quarter, officials said.

Campaign manager Faiz Shakir said Sanders is building a fundraising machine that could compete in the general election with Trump, who has built a powerful small-dollar donation operation and has already raised and spent record amounts on his reelection campaign.

Sanders “is proving each and every day that working class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy,” Shakir said in a statement. “You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win.”

Sanders campaign officials said they did not transfer any money from other federal accounts in the final three months of 2019. The campaign transferred a total of $12.7 million in previous quarters.

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. In the third quarter, Sanders upped his cash intake significantly, taking in $25 million, which put him at the top of the list for Democrats for that quarter. This fourth quarter haul represents a 36% increase over the previous quarter, which itself was a 39% increase over the second quarter.

These numbers come at the same time that Sanders appears to have stopped and reversed the slide in the polls he was experiencing in the late summer and early fall, largely to the benefit of fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren:

  • In the RealClearPolitics national average, for example, Sanders is in second place at 19.1%, behind former Vice-President Biden (28.3%) and ahead of Senator Warren, who stands at 15.1%.
  • In Iowa, where the caucuses are just 32 days away, Sanders stands at 20%, behind Pete Buttigieg at 22%, and ahead of Joe Biden at 18.8% and Elizabeth Warren at 18.8%.
  • In New Hampshire, which Sanders won in 2016, the Senator stands at 19%. ahead of Buttigieg at 17, Joe Biden, who is at 14.3%, and Elizabeth Warren, who stands at 13.3%.
  • In Nevada, which has not seen polling since November, Sanders stands in fourth place at 19.8% behind Biden (29%), and Warren (20%).
  • Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Sanders is in third place at 15.3%, behind Joe Biden at 35% and Elizabeth Warren at 16.3%.

All of this puts Sanders in a good position headed into the beginning of the actual voting in the campaign for the nomination. Whether he can turn this success in the fundraising battles into success at the battles is what we’ll have to wait to find out.

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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. MarkedMan says:

    I just don’t get the appeal. To me Bernie is little more than a liberal version of Trump. Sure, he’s smart and able to exert self control, but he’s an old man who hasn’t accomplished anything in his life* but nonetheless seems to firmly believe that if only we put him in charge everything would be different this time and he would bring about heaven on earth.

    *I know he was elected a Senator but he hasn’t accomplished anything as a Senator.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    I tend to see Bernie’s appeal as the old idea that left and right extremes meet around the backside of the circle. Trump ran on anti-elitism. (OK, he really ran on race, but also anti-elitism. And it’s the weird Republican definition of “elite” that excludes wealthy, powerful Republicans.) Bernie is anti-elite. Being anti-elite (using a real definition of “elite” makes sense, given how badly our elites have screwed up over the last many decades. They’ve brought us a series of failed wars and economic crisis while ignoring existential threats. People have noticed.

    It’s natural for the left to be anti-establishment and I can see the appeal. We really do need to “drain the swamp”, but we need to correctly identify the swamp. In fact, the country desperately needs a good dose of socialism, which we certainly won’t get from Republican faux populists.

    Whether Bernie is able to back up the talk is a legit question, and of the field as it stands I’d prefer Warren as prez.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty much around to backing Biden, Getting a D, any D, into the WH has to be the priority and we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My feeling is that all things being equal, i. e. two old white guys, Trump will lose. I’m less confident with a woman or POC. Being female probably tipped the scales against Hillary enough to give Trumpsky his 70,000 votes in three states win. I’m open to argument that Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, or whoever would generate enough D enthusiasm to overcome scaring the small number of persuadables. But I think Trumpsky’s existence has pretty much maxed out D enthusiasm already. And Biden has Black support.

  3. Mister Bluster says:

    Bernie has to be able to beat Trump.
    I wonder how much money the National Independent Party Election Committee (NIPPEL Com) will be able to raise for his campaign.

  4. Mister Bluster says:

    Thank’s, Doug for the info.
    I’m sure Candidate Sanders’s supporters will be grateful for the up to date coverage.

  5. Jax says:

    There are some days when I get so frustrated with Bernie supporters I want him to get the nomination and for Trump to beat him by a landslide, just so they’ll learn.

    But Trump is too dangerous to risk that.

  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Meanwhile, Trump is sitting on over a hundred million, ready to bury the Dem nominee in negative ads.

  7. EddieInCA says:


    Hal_10000 says:
    Friday, January 3, 2020 at 07:58

    Meanwhile, Trump is sitting on over a hundred million, ready to bury the Dem nominee in negative ads.

    Really Hal? Because I’m not good at math… and even I can add that while Trump raised $46M in the last quarter, the Dems combined raised $131M. Almost three times what Trump raised.

    Soon as Yang, Klobauchar, Booker, and the others who have no chance exit and it’s down to a two person race, I think you’ll be surprised at how much money the Dems will raise.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @EddieInCA: And there is every reason to hope the Trumpskyites will skim off a big chunk of money. They’re all grifters.