“Unlike virtually every other campaign, we don’t have a Super PAC which collects money from billionaires and corporations.” –Bernie Sanders on Twitter
Bernie Sanders is unique in that unlike the majority of other presidential candidates, he does not and will not pursue funding through any Super PAC. Most of his donations are small and not tied to any corporations. Sanders has been extremely vocal about overturning the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission since Citizens United has enabled the creation of Super PACs and allowed outside groups, including corporations and unions, to spend unlimited and undisclosed amount of money to support or attack a politician.
Sanders has shown that he can raise money just fine without Super PACs. In the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign on April 30, 2015, he raised over $1.5 million. Within a week of his announcement, Sanders’ campaign raised $3 million from approximately 75,000 contributions, with the average donation being $43. According to a campaign adviser, 99.4 percent of the donations were $250 or less, and 185,000 supporters had signed up on the campaign’s website.
Required reports to FEC in July 2015 further demonstrate Sanders’ fundraising power. The average donation to Sanders was $31.30, and donations totaled about $15.2 million, which was about $3 million less than Clinton’s total donations. Also, despite the fact that Clinton has held tenfold more campaign donor events as Sanders and received many contributions of $2,700, Sanders had raised over $26 million in the third quarter of 2015, just short of Clinton’s total of $28 million.
Finance Breakdown: Where is his funding from?
As we can see from the above table, almost ALL of the funds the Sanders’ campaign has raised have come through his campaign organization, Bernie 2016. Sanders has said that he will not pursue any funding from Super PACs, and it is self-evident in the amount of funding he receives from the PACs.
Who actually donates to Bernie Sanders?
Below is a table of the top 15 contributions by affiliations to organization (owner, employee, PACs, or those individuals’ immediate families):
Most of the organizations on this list have the reputation of being more liberal. For example, the University of California system, especially Berkeley, is known for their tree-hugging attitude. Also, notice that none of these organizations are Wall Street companies/big banks. You can compare this table to the one for Hillary Clinton.