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Rally for Bernie Sanders in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo: Getty)

Rally for Bernie Sanders in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo: Getty)

Making Presidential Campaign History, Sanders Breaks Individual Contribution Record

'You can’t level the playing field with Wall Street banks and billionaires by taking their money'

Sarah Lazare

The Bernie Sanders campaign announced Thursday that the Vermont senator has officially received two million contributions, putting him ahead—at this point in the election season—of every other candidate in U.S. history who was not a sitting president.

Top aides say Sanders could even beat President Barack Obama's 2012 record. "In his run for a second term, reports indicated Obama receiving around 2.2 million contributions by the end of 2011, a figure Sanders still could surpass," reads a campaign statement.

The average donation this week was $20, in what Sanders says is evidence that he is accountable to "people power"—not corporate contributors.

The number of contributions does not reflect the exact number of donors, as some have given more than once. However, Sanders' campaign says the number of people pitching in is approaching 1 million, according to the Washington Post.

"Just 261 Sanders backers have given the maximum allowable contribution of $2,700, accounting for a mere 1.7 percent of his campaign’s total reported money raised," said Sanders' campaign. "That’s a sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton’s 17,575 maxed-out donors, whose donations accounted for almost 62 percent of her money raised, according to Federal Election Commission records for the first three quarters of this year."

Filings from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton show that she continues to be the favorite Democratic candidate of Wall Street, Politico noted in October.

"Over 2 million contributions have been made to the only campaign that rejects a corrupt campaign finance system," Sanders said in an advertisement thanking donors. "You can’t level the playing field with Wall Street banks and billionaires by taking their money."

Meanwhile, a poll released Thursday by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Every Voice found that 72 percent of people in the U.S. "favor a plan to address the role of money in politics with a small-donor public financing system combined with disclosure for all political spending by outside groups and strictly enforced election laws," according to a press statement.


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