Sanders, who has refused to work with a Super PAC or take funding from the billionaire class, raised approximately $15 million for his campaign in the first quarter through grassroots efforts.
“We’re going to do it a different way. We’re going to do it on our own.” Sanders wrote in the email to supporters on Tuesday.
“One week from tomorrow,” Sanders continued, “we’ll face a Federal Election Commission fundraising deadline. And if things go well, we have a chance to report that we’ve received more than 1 million individual online contributions from working Americans. That would represent an unprecedented outpouring of support at this point of any campaign in history, and I would be very proud if we achieved that goal together.”
In 2008, despite the similarly excited supporters, the Obama campaign did not hit the million contribution mark until after the Iowa caucuses.
“Having more than 1 million contributions would be absolutely, totally historic this early in an election,” said Sanders. “In the 2008 race, with all of his grassroots momentum and enthusiasm in his incredible campaign, President Obama did not reach more than 1 million contributions until after he won the Iowa caucuses.”
Just last week, after a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton launched an unexpected attack on Sanders, the Vermont senator rapidly raised $1.2 million in 48 hours.
“At one point, it drove 180 contributions through our platform per minute,” Erin Hill, executive director of ActBlue, an online fundraising service used by Sanders and many other democrats, said in the statement released by the Sanders campaign.
While Clinton’s top 20 contributors are made up by 90% corporations or those who provide services to corporations, Sander’s top contributors are 95% unions — further reinforcing his stance that he is the candidate for the people and by the people.
“I believe that we can win,” Sanders concluded.