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Politics

Sanders Catching up, $27 at a Time

WASHINGTON, DC — Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money, $27 at a time.

The insurgent Democratic presidential candidate’s success with low-dollar online fundraising complements his denouncement of big money in politics.

His campaign is setting ever-higher benchmarks for online fundraising: $6 million in the 24 hours after his New Hampshire victory, $3 million after his narrow loss in Iowa.

That fundraising helped Sanders outraise Clinton in January and set him up to do so again this month. That ensures he has the ability to wage a long battle in the primaries ahead.

The 74-year-old Vermont senator has always chafed at traditional fundraising.

His average contribution, $27, is one-hundredth the legal maximum of $2,700, the more typical size of checks to presidential candidates, including Clinton.

In his victory speech Tuesday in New Hampshire, he urged those listening to go to his website and donate for his campaign’s coming battles in Nevada, South Carolina and beyond.

The resulting flood of donations slowed his campaign website to a crawl and made up a surge greater than anything ActBlue, his online fundraising processor, had ever experienced. At one point, ActBlue was handling 2,689 contributions per minute, blowing away the 12-year-old nonprofit organization’s previous record of 781.

The group assists all Democratic candidates, Clinton among them.

Sanders has held just nine traditional fundraisers since the beginning of his presidential campaign, spokesman Michael Briggs said. By comparison, Clinton has held more than 100.

Last year’s fundraising reports show that Sanders raised 72 percent of his campaign money from people who gave $200 or less, while for Clinton those donors accounted for just 16 percent of her funds.

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