Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reported a $24 million haul for his presidential campaign in the second quarter, $18 million of which came from small dollar donations.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reported a $24 million haul for his presidential campaign in the second quarter, $18 million of which came from small dollar donations. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Dominates as Analyses of Fundraising Data Show Vermont Senator With Widespread Support Across Nation

The data "contradicts both the mainstream narrative and some national polling data that suggest that only a centrist Democrat could succeed in this political environment."

Eoin Higgins

Individual donors to Democratic candidates for the party's 2020 presidential nomination overwhelmingly gave to Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to analyses released Friday. 

The New York Times, in a map produced by the paper's reporters, found that Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, dominates most of the country as the primary or secondary recipient of nearly all donations from Americans in all states—though his support is strongest in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the eastern Great Plains, and the West.

"The movement is so strong that NYT has to create a separate map that excludes @BernieSanders from it," tweeted Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

The L.A. Times went into further detail in a piece which allows readers to zero in on their zip codes for hard numbers. The Wall Street Journal showed who had the most small dollar donations across the country (unsurprisingly, the majority of the country went to Sanders in that regard).

And a study from The Center for Public Integrity and FiveThirtyEight demonstrated that the senator is the recipient of donations from one out of every three Democrats donating to primary candidates, irrespective of how many other candidates they're donating to.

The mappable data from the Times, said independent researcher Kristin Johnson, whose work on localized donations helped predict the upset win of Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) in her 2018 primary against then-incumbent Mike Capuano, "contradicts both the mainstream narrative and some national polling data that suggest that only a centrist Democrat could succeed in this political environment."

"Sanders clearly has an advantage from the supporter database and name recognition he amassed during his 2016 presidential campaign," added Johnson. 

Progressives immediately pounced on the Times report as an indication of the strength of Sanders' support.

"Total number of donors would seem to me to be the most relevant (and least classist) way of gauging enthusiasm, rather than the cash totals CNN et al gush over every quarter," said journalist Adam Johnson.

Sanders' donor advantage was so overwhelming in the Times data that the paper "had to make two maps—one excluding Bernie Sanders—because Bernie had too many donors to show other candidates donation patterns," as Greenpeace International's Matt Browner Hamlin pointed out on Twitter. 

The breadth of Sanders' appeal, especially through the middle of the country, spurred the senator's Iowa communications director to challenge the conventional wisdom that "the Midwest doesn't want or support progressive policies."

The report also showed strength for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) across the country, though not as robust as that for Sanders. 

Of other Democrats, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a relative political unknown before this year's breakout presidential run, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) all dominated the country's wealthier hotspots. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke dominated Texas and Sen. Amy Klobuchar her native Minnesota. 

Sanders' strength may be even greater than the maps show, however, as the Times admitted that "information about donors giving $200 or less directly to a campaign is not available."

The senator is raking it in from a plurality of Democrats contributing to campaigns, according to a study by The Center for Public Integrity and FiveThirtyEight

Nearly one out of every three donors who have given to any presidential campaign have donated to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Democrat who has by far the largest number of donors of any of the Democratic candidates. (That doesn't mean they gave exclusively to Sanders — many people have given money to multiple Democratic candidates.) 

The study also found that "Democrats are far from wearing their donors out" and have more to give. 

"At least 2.4 million people have together pumped about $209 million into the campaigns of major Democratic presidential contenders during the first half of 2019," the report said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo