Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist Jewish independent senator from Vermont, officially announced that he will enter the 2020 presidential race. The decision didn’t come as a huge surprise, but the sheer number of donations that poured in over the next 24 hours was staggering, according to Marketwatch, which reports he raised over $4 million in just 12 hours alone.
By: Sarah Muro
He more than doubled the amount that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) raised in the first 24 hours of her official candidacy. According to Sanders, 150,000 people helped contribute to his campaign as of Tuesday.
BBC News reports that 225,000 donors helped Sanders put about $6 million in the campaign bank in just 24 hours. Sanders raised a total of $228 million during the 2016 primaries, a race that ultimately came down to him versus eventual nominee and frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
There will be around 20 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, so it will be easy to get lost in all of that noise. It’s great for democracy when a lot of different people can come together and hash out ideas and debate them in public before having those in the public who want to participate select who they want to run for president.
For a moment, tune out all of that noise and focus on what’s clear here with Sanders. Clinton was expected to be the Democratic nominee and Obama successor for quite some time, with the conventional wisdom being that she would run against John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush and former governor of Florida. Sanders, an old Jewish senator with consistently liberal positions over the decades, who’s been a little bit of a thorn in the side of Democrats, and has always had a hard time getting his legislation passed, was somehow able to take his message to the masses and give Clinton a little scare.
There was never really much doubt that Clinton would win the nomination, but Sanders won a number of states and got a significant amount of votes in the states he lost. Those millions of excited voters didn’t go away, and Sanders has a built-in base of people who are extra-energized supporters. He will have to face other candidates that spout some of his same famous lines, and he may not get the same spotlight that he did when there were only about four other candidates running at the start of the 2016 primaries. The Democrats should still expect Sanders to give them a run for their money for the party’s nomination, and even if it doesn’t happen, his presence is almost certainly going to have an impact, maybe even playing spoiler to the hopes of one of the other candidates.
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