Bernie Sanders raises $18M in second quarter

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign raised $18 million in the second quarter of 2019 and transferred an additional $6 million from other campaign accounts, injecting a total of $24 million into his coffers as he heads into the second half of the year.

Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said that the senator’s fundraising haul was bolstered by more than 1 million contributions in the second quarter alone, saying that 99 percent of those donations were $100 or less, with an average contribution size of $18.


Shakir estimated that the campaign will report having roughly $30 million in cash on hand when it files its second quarter report later this month.

Shakir disclosed the cash haul in a call with reporters on Tuesday, saying the campaign was bolstered in the final days of fundraising from a surge in donations prompted by the senator’s performance in the Democratic presidential debate.

“There’s been moments when I think people have written off the campaign. I think one of those moments was ... after the debate,” Shakir said, noting that Sanders raked in $2 million in the day after the debate.

Sanders is the second Democratic presidential hopeful to disclose his fundraising numbers for the quarter.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE announced on Monday that his campaign raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, a staggering figure that exceeded expectations for a candidate who was little known on the national stage until a few months ago.

Sanders campaign officials on Tuesday argued that the senator has eschewed high-dollar fundraisers and has not explicitly courted big donors or Democratic bundlers, something they say the other Democratic candidates are doing.

“There are other candidates out there who are intentionally making the decision to go into closed-door fundraisers to solicit money from high-dollar fundraisers, bundlers,” Shakir said.

Indeed, several Democratic presidential hopefuls have held the kind of high-dollar fundraisers that Sanders has criticized. Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE, for instance, jetted off to fundraising events in the days just after last week’s presidential debates.

Nina Turner, a co-chairwoman of Sanders’s campaign, appeared on Tuesday to take a swipe at former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who huddled with donors after his debate last week to discuss his performance.

“We know right after the debate, one of the candidates immediately went to the donor class and sought their opinion on what he could do differently,” Turner said, refraining from naming the candidate.

Still, Sanders has seen his numbers stagnate in many public polls in recent weeks.

At the same time, Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisIt's past time we elect a Black woman governor Manchin rebuffs progressive push for infrastructure guarantee It's time for domestic workers to have rights MORE (D-Calif.) have seen a boost in momentum following strong performances in last week’s debates.

A CNN/SSRS poll released on Monday showed Harris jump ahead of Sanders into second place behind Biden, while Warren finished in third place and Sanders dropped into fourth.

Sanders’s aides brushed off questions about whether they were concerned with the campaign’s trajectory on Tuesday, noting that his reliance on grass-roots giving was a more sustainable fundraising model than counting on high-dollar donors to power his campaign.

The Vermont senator will also embark on a busy travel schedule in July, with planned trips to Texas and California, as he looks to expand his presence beyond the four early primary and caucus states.

Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders’s campaign, argued that he could “do with a little less than other folks,” because of his already high name recognition and general favorability among Democratic primary voters. 

“I would say this about fundraising in general: we don’t have to raise the most money,” Weaver said. “Bernie Sanders is widely known in this country. People have a basic understanding of his positions and his orientation towards protecting working people.”

Updated at 11:06 a.m.