Bernie Sanders Campaign Fastest In History To Reach 1 Million Contributions

| by Robert Fowler
Sen. Bernie Sanders.Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has reached its goal of 1 million individual contributions, making it the fastest to reach that number in history.

The Sanders campaign announced its record-breaking numbers on Sept. 30, just hours before the third-quarter fundraising deadline. The campaign broke the news on Reddit, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The campaign was launched in May 2015 and has relied on Internet support. The Democratic presidential candidate has refused to accept campaign donations from political action committees (super PACs) and has instead been funded by individual public donations of $250 or less, The Wall Street Journal reports. In the second fundraising quarter, Sanders' campaign reported an average donation of $34, totaling $15 million.

In comparison, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised $45 million in the same quarter.

The Hill reports the Sanders campaign has not disclosed the fundraising total for the third quarter but has held up its record of 1 million individual contributions as an "unprecedented public demonstration of support for the values we share."

The previous record-holder for hitting the 1 million mark in contributions was President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in October 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sanders has heavily criticized the big money spent by private interests in presidential elections. He plans to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that deemed campaign contributions a type of free speech.

"I do not exaggerate when I tell you that the foundations of American democracy are being undermined," Sanders told students at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, according to CNN.. "American democracy is not supposed to be about billionaires buying elections."

Sanders has received praise for his refusal to take donations from big-money interests. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett gave Sanders kudos in a Sept. 8 interview.

"I think Bernie Sanders has been a terrific campaigner,” Buffett told Business Insider. "He campaigns exactly as I would campaign if I were a candidate ... He's not going to get elected, but I admire him."

Despite his admiration for Sanders, Buffett has contributed to Clinton’s super PAC, according to Business Insider.

Sources: Business Insider, CNNThe Hill, Wall Street Journal / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr