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Bernie Sanders beat Democratic rivals to raise $34.5 million in the 4th quarter

Bernie Sanders to ring in new year in Iowa
Bernie Sanders will ring in new year with Iowa voters 04:42

Bernie Sanders raised $34.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, his campaign announced Thursday, racking up 1.8 million donations in the quarter ending December 31. Sanders' best fundraising month was December, when he collected 900,000 donations totaling over $18 million.

In addition to the impressive total for the quarter, the campaign announced on January 1 that it had reached 5 million campaign contributions, more than any Democratic opponent and more than President Trump's reelection campaign.  

Sanders raised more than any of the other Democratic candidates in the third and first quarters of 2019. 

According to his campaign, the most common job held by Sanders donors in the fourth quarter was teaching, but the most common employers were Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, the U.S. Postal Service and Target.

The average donation was $18.53, and 99.9% of his donors have not maxed out their donations to Sanders.

The last quarter of 2019 set a steady course for the campaign as it enters the election year. With the Iowa caucuses on February 3, the Sanders campaign believes the financial support shows hearty voter enthusiasm. According to the campaign, 40,000 new donors contributed on the last day of the year. In December alone, it raised more than $18 million from over 900,000 donations, making it the campaign's best fundraising month to date.

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Sanders "is proving each and every day that working class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy. You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that's exactly why Bernie is going to win," said Campaign Manager Faiz Shakir.

It's commonplace for the senator and his staff to tout fundraising and organizing as the campaign's strongest tools.

On the trail, the senator will at almost every stop tell voters that his campaign does not rely on big-dollar donors. Sanders will say that he doesn't "sit in rich people's living rooms asking for money," a slight directed at Vice President Joe Biden, who often makes fundraising stops between campaign events. 

Similarly, after recent reports on a Pete Buttigieg fundraiser held in an underground wine cellar, Sanders has begun to tell supports that has never been in a "wine cave." The Sanders campaign even mocked the mayor's event last month by buying the domain and redirecting visitors to the website to Sanders' ActBlue page. ActBlue provides an online platform for campaign fundraising.

In conjunction with Sanders' financial tailwind, the campaign boasts impressive grassroots and organizing numbers. In Iowa alone, staff and volunteers have knocked on more than 250,000 doors. The campaign says it plans to double that number by the end of January. 

Sanders spoke to a small group of canvassers Wednesday morning in Des Moines before knocking on a few doors himself.

"What makes our campaign unique is you. We have, I'm quite confident, the strongest grassroots volunteer network in this state and, in fact, this country," said Sanders.

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