Sanders raises $18 million in presidential campaign bid

Bernie Sanders raises $18 million from 525,000 donors in first 41 days of his presidential campaign bid.

Ben Ariel,

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

US Senator Bernie Sanders has raised $18 million from 525,000 donors in the first 41 days of his presidential campaign bid, JTA reported on Tuesday.

His campaign, in announcing the numbers, said 99.5 percent of the donations were $100 or less as Sanders takes pride in running campaigns mostly based on small donors.

Sanders, who recently announced his candidacy for President of the United States, was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost to Hillary Clinton, who ultimately lost the presidential election to President Donald Trump.

Sanders had raised $15 million in the first quarter of his 2016 run, when he became first Jewish candidate to win major-party nominating contests. He is only the third of the 16 or so candidates running for the 2020 Democratic nomination to announce his first-quarter funding numbers, noted JTA.

The Independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats is part of a crowded slate of nominees seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Other candidates who have already announced their intention to seek the Democratic nomination include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Kamala Harris, former congressman Beto O’Rourke and Senator Cory Booker.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has not yet announced his candidacy, but many have speculated that he plans to do so.

Sanders has a history of problematic statements on Israel.

Last April, he criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his policies, saying, "As someone who believes absolutely and unequivocally in Israel's right to exist... we must say loudly and clearly, that to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make us anti-Israel."

In June of 2017, Sanders recorded a video message to the Israeli leftist party Meretz, in which he said, “This occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli, but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.”