As Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton continue to spar over fossil fuel donations, The Hill reports Saturday that Sanders' $44 million March haul "has broken new ground for online political fundraising."
The Sanders campaign announced Friday that it raised more money in March than it did during its record-breaking February. The Democratic presidential hopeful has now received 6.5 million contributions from 2 million donors. Of the $184 million total raised by his campaign so far, 97 percent was given online. The average contribution is just $27.
Reporter Jonathan Swan writes: "His record-breaking sums come in spite of the fact that Sanders relies on small-dollar donors instead of well-financed millionaires and associated super-PACs and does not have a traditional finance team."
According to The Hill's analysis of FEC filings, Clinton "has raised only 18 percent of her money from donors giving less than $200, giving her a narrower fundraising base than Sanders. Sanders’s campaign has raised 66 percent of its money from donors giving less than $200."
Notably, the senator from Vermont "has managed to raise these sums while being nearly 300 pledged delegates behind Clinton and more than 700 behind if superdelegates—party leaders who can choose whichever candidate they want—are counted."
The money allows to Sanders to follow through on his vow to keep fighting all the way until the convention.
Sanders' chief strategist told The Hill that millions of people bought into the Sanders campaign "not so much because they were betting on Bernie winning. They were investing in him because they believed in him. They believed in what he stood for, and they want to express that support not only by voting for him but by contributing to him on a continuous basis."
Meanwhile, as ABC News reported Saturday:
Clinton is more reliant on traditional fundraising than is Sanders, who's raised the bulk of his money online. Even as she prepares for New York's primary, she has scheduled fundraisers before then in Denver, Virginia, Miami and Los Angeles — at the home of actor George Clooney.
She needs to continue raising primary dollars because June contests in California and New Jersey will be expensive. Sanders faces fewer financial anxieties.
Already, The Hill reported separately on Saturday, "She’s investing more money and time in New York than she originally had expected, underscoring the importance of a victory on her home turf."
In fact, that story continued, "Clinton will spend four of the next six days in New York, signaling the state is more important to her than Wisconsin, where she is an underdog to Sanders in Tuesday’s primary."
The most recent poll has Sanders leading Clinton 49-43 percent. And a Marquette Law School survey shows Sanders ahead 57 percent to 37 percent among self-identified independents—which the Washington Post says is "part of an alarming national trend for Clinton of being unpopular with unaffiliated voters who can help swing general elections."
According to the Post, "Wisconsin’s primary is important because, in many respects, the state is a microcosm of the Democratic Party nationally and has an unusually engaged electorate."