On Elections

How people elect parliaments

Sanders’ campaign breaks supporter record


Just hours before the Iowa caucuses are held, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination to the US presidency has announced a record-breaking number of donations from individual Americans.

The campaign stated that so far a record 3.25 million individuals had donated money. His campaign’s total for January was $20 million, almost entirely from small online contributions averaging $US27.

US presidential campaigns must disclose donations on a regular basis.

That commitment to Sanders from small-donation individuals augurs well for the level of voter support the senator will need to beat frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the nomination to run in November’s election.

Eight candidates in US primary election history have won more than 10 million votes in the primary election season. The record of 17.8 million primary votes is held by Hillary Clinton in her epic battle with Barack Obama in early 2008.

Total votes won in US presidential primaries, 1968-2012:

US primaries - total vote tally cityscape2.png

The ‘twin towers’: the 2008 contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama far exceeded any other race in total votes. Clinton ultimately won the vote count with 17.8 million votes, but Obama won more convention delegates and secured his party’s nomination for President. (The chart only displays up to 4 candidates for each party in each year)

Sanders has made the rules relating to campaign donations, and the influence of large corporations as political donors, a key part of his election pitch.

In the US individuals and corporations are subject to maximum donation rules, but the US Supreme Court has ruled that separate ‘political action committees’ supporting candidates can collect unlimited amounts of money.


1 February 2016

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2016 by in Current issues, United States, US presidential primaries.
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