The Vermont senator bested his Democratic party rival by more than $10 million last month
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders basks in the enthusiasm of supporters at a Sunday rally at KeyArena. (Photo: Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)
With a new fundraising record and thousands of passionate fans packing venues across Washington state this weekend, it appears that neither Bernie Sanders nor his supporters are going anywhere as the Democratic primary battle moves westward.
The Sanders campaign announced Sunday that it pulled in a record $43.5 million in February from 1.5 million contributions averaging about $30 apiece, substantially out-raising Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who received donations totaling $30.1 million last month.
What’s more, that momentum does not seem to be slowing down. The campaign predicts “another large fundraising total for March,” as nearly a third of contributions so far this month have come from first-time donors.
“This campaign has enthusiasm and the energy to carry us to victory, because we are doing something very unusual in American politics: We are telling the truth,” Sanders told the 10,000 people who packed into Seattle’s KeyArena on Sunday.
“If we stand together and we don’t allow the Trumps of the world to divide us up, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” he said. According to the Seattle Times, a crowd of 10,300 was able to enter the arena while another 5,500 listened from outside.
Over the course of the weekend, the senator drew sizable crowds in Spokane and Vancouver, Washington addressing a total of more than 30,000 people in the state, where the Democratic candidates are vying for support and the 101 pledged delegates that are up for grabs in next Saturday’s primary contest.
Sanders is resolute after last week’s disappointing losses in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. In an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, the candidate predicted that as the primary contest advances to some of the more “progressive part[s] of America…people in those states really are not going to be voting for establishment politics and establishment economics.”
The next six contests are caucuses, which have gone well for the candidate, who has galvanized a lot of grassroots support. Arizona, Idaho, and Utah are holding events on Tuesday, followed by Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington on Saturday.
“Our grassroots donors are paving the way for this campaign to compete strongly all the way through the Democratic National Convention in July,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, after the latest Federal Elections Committee (FEC) filing.
Since the Vermont senator launched his presidential bid last April, the campaign has raised $140 million from nearly 2 million individual donors—which is roughly double the number of people who have contributed to the Clinton campaign.
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