According to early estimates from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and media reports, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has raised more political contributions than every republican candidate running against him. Although his GOP rivals do not include super PAC money in their campaign totals, Sen. Sanders has achieved more grassroots support by refusing to pander to billionaire donors.
Between July and September, Sanders’ campaign raised $26 million, which was more than every single GOP candidate raised during that period. The only person who reported raising more money was fellow democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who raised $28 million. Although Clinton began her campaign with a strong start, she actually raised less money than the previous quarter, while Sanders has been taking in more donations as his campaign continues to gain momentum.
So far, Sanders has collected $41.2 million in political contributions. Leading the GOP candidates, Ben Carson has reported raising $30.7 million, while Ted Cruz has accumulated $26.5 million. Jeb Bush has acquired over $22.8 million, while Rand Paul only collected $9.4 million. Because the candidates have until October 15 to officially report their fundraising totals, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee have not yet released their third quarter stats.
Although Sanders refuses to betray his ideals by forming a super PAC, his competitors possess no such moral qualms. In the first half of 2015, Bush’s super PAC pulled in $103 million from affluent donors seeking political influence from the shadows. According to the Sunlight Foundation, super PACs supporting Cruz have raised roughly $40 million, while Rubio’s super PAC has only raised $16 million. Coming in behind the top three republican candidates, Clinton’s super PAC raked in $15.6 million through June.
Unwilling to compromise his principles, Sanders wants to end the political influence that billionaires are legally allowed to purchase as a result of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. If elected president, Sanders plans to appoint Supreme Court nominees dedicated to overturning Citizens United. Rejecting the idea of prostituting himself to a handful of deranged billionaires, Sanders has decided to run his campaign with the support of average Americans who do not lurk in the shadows avoiding transparency.
On Friday, Sanders once again showed his support for average Americans by writing on Twitter, “I’m going to all I can to defeat the #TPP in the Senate. We need trade policies that benefit American workers, not just corporate CEOs.”