The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has hit a new milestone, collecting over two million individual contributions as of Dec. 16. This is double the amount of individual donations that President Barack Obama’s garnered during the 2008 election. Video below.
The Democratic candidate’s campaign is aiming to break Obama’s record of 2.2 million individual contributions in 2012, according to The Washington Post.
Sanders has condemned financial super PACs throughout his presidential campaign, arguing that the limitless amount of money that candidates can raise defeats the purpose of a democratic process.
The majority of campaign donations made to the Vermont senator’s campaign have been made online, averaging at less than $30. Sanders’ aides have declined to release the number of unique donors, which means that it’s possible that many of his campaign’s high number of contributions could be coming from repeat donors.
As of Sept. 30, Sanders’ campaign had raised $41.5 million in comparison to rival Hillary Clinton’s $77.5 million. The former Secretary of State has also condemned super PACs but relies heavily on their financing.
The Sanders campaign had set the goal of breaking the 20 million contributor mark this week and met that number by 8:11 p.m., Dec. 16. The campaign released a video celebrating the achievement (available below).
“We have by far the most transparent fundraising of anyone in this campaign,” Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver tells Time. “The important thing is what percentage of Bernie’s money comes from contributions under $200. It’s almost all of it.”
While the Vermont senator has vocally refused any help from super PACs, that has not stopped the union National Nurses United from establishing one to spend $610,000 to promote Sanders’ candidacy, Time reports.
If a super PAC wants to devote money to helping out the Sanders campaign, there’s not a whole lot the Vermont senator can do about it.
However, his campaign has refused individual campaign donations, most famously turning away the $2,700 donation given by Turing Pharmaceuticals’ CEO Martin Shrkeli who had gained infamy for purchasing a life-saving drug and hiking price by 4,000 percent, according to Boston Globe.