Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took in another huge fundraising haul in January, according to figures released by his campaign, a $25-million infusion that will allow Sanders to further expand his reach as rivals struggle to keep pace with his operation.
The amount is not a record — both Sanders and Hillary Clinton raised more in single months during the 2016 campaign, and then-candidate Barack Obama raised $55 million in a single month in 2008. But it is far more money than any Democratic candidate has raised within a month so far this cycle. Indeed, the amount is more than most have raised in three months.
The money comes as Sanders works to build momentum off his strong showing in Iowa. Campaign officials said they will be using the cash to add staff and step up advertising in states that vote in the March 3 Super Tuesday primary, including California and Texas.
“Bernie’s multiracial, multigenerational, people-driven movement for change is fueling 2020’s most aggressive campaign for president,” said a statement from campaign manager Faiz Shakir. “Working-class Americans giving $18 at a time are putting our campaign in a strong position to compete in states all over the map.”
Sanders continues to reshape the role of money in politics. He is outpacing every other candidate in the race in fundraising without wooing big donors at private events or accepting money from corporate political action committees.
His success funding a top-tier campaign on small contributions from individual donors has forced other candidates to also disavow some of the traditional methods of raising campaign cash, which have long raised conflict of interest concerns.
More than 219,000 new donors pitched in to the Sanders campaign in January, the campaign said. More than 648,000 people gave overall. When categorized by profession, teachers accounted for the largest group of donors. People who work for Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, the U.S. Postal Service and Target made up the biggest groups of donors when clustered by employer.
Sanders has been a sharp critic of how Walmart and Amazon treat their workers. He also consistently criticizes the immense salaries of executives of the companies.
While Sanders, who launched his campaign a year ago, has raised the most cash of any candidate, he is not spending the most. Former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is self-funding his campaign and not accepting donations, has already spent significantly more since joining the race as a late entrant in November.
Bloomberg has poured $300 million into advertising alone, more than double what Sanders has raised over the last year from 6.4 million donations.