Sen. Bernie Sanders wants people to know he's fighting for the little guy. And so far, his donations are matching up to the image.
Sanders's presidential campaign received roughly $15.2 million in donations this quarter, according to his campaign's quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
According to his campaign, 76 percent of the campaign haul came from donors who gave less than $200. Roughly 284,000 individual donors gave to the campaign since it launched on April 30, and the average contribution was $35.18, according to Sanders's campaign.
Sanders's campaign spent around $3 million during the quarter, leaving him with roughly $12.1 million cash on hand. According to the filing, Sanders has not given any of his own money to pad his campaign, though he did transfer $1.5 million from his Senate campaign to his presidential campaign.
By comparison, Jeb Bush's campaign received $11.4 million in donations this quarter—nearly $4 million less than Sanders. However, two things are worth keeping in mind. One, Sanders was in the race long before Bush, who announced his campaign on June 15. Two, Bush has a super PAC, Right to Rise, supporting him in addition to his own campaign coffers. Sanders does not. As of last week, Right to Rise had raised $114 million.
Although Hillary Clinton outraised Sanders by a whopping $31.5 million this quarter, it appears that more individuals may have donated to Sanders' campaign than Clinton's campaign. While Sanders said that more than 284,000 people donated to his campaign, Clinton said "more than 250,000" donated to her own campaign. Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, two weeks before Sanders did. Still, it's unclear exactly how many more than 250,000 people donated to Clinton's campaign.
While Clinton continues to poll well ahead of Sanders, the Vermont senator has proven Clinton isn't the only Democrat who can draw celebrity endorsements—and in some cases, cash.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, better known as the cofounders of Vermont-based ice-cream chain Ben & Jerry's, donated to Sanders's campaign. They each donated exactly $1,411.23. Previously, the ice-cream magnates helped roll out Sanders's first big campaign event. Actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo has donated $825 to the campaign.
The rapper Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, has endorsed Sanders and donated $30 to his campaign. Brandon McCartney—better known by his rap name, Lil B—has also endorsed Sanders, but has apparently not yet donated to Sanders's campaign.
Guy Saperstein, a part owner of the Oakland A's, donated the maximum $2,700 to the campaign, as did Saperstein's wife. Previously, Saperstein had underwritten an (unsuccessful) super PAC to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president, and pledged to donate $1 million to her campaign should she decide to run.
A large portion of Sanders's spending went to Revolution Messaging, LLC. The campaign paid Revolution Messaging more than $1.2 million for digital consulting and advertising buys starting in May.
Sanders's campaign also spent a fair amount of money on merchant fees for online-transaction vendors. The Sanders campaign spent roughly $487,000 on merchant fees to ActBlue, a nonprofit vendor that many Democratic campaigns use to process their online donations, and Stripe.com, a website that handles online transactions.
But ActBlue appears to be paying off for his campaign. Sanders raked in $11.4 million—75 percent of the donations detailed in his FEC filing—through the service.
Nearly $125,000 of the campaign's money went toward contribution refunds for individual donors. The campaign spent almost $33,000 on travel. One of the smallest itemized disbursements was a $6 "meals" purchase on Delta Airlines—incidentally, the same price the airline charges for a Miller Lite.
Correction: Michael "Killer Mike" Render has donated $30 to Sanders' campaign, per his Twitter.
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