Bernie Sanders has taken on the task of erasing Hillary Clinton’s money lead in the 2016 presidential race. With the recent release of the third-quarter campaign finance numbers—we now know that Bernie Sanders is up to the challenge.
For now, she remains in the lead over everyone in both Democratic and Republican parties with her recent report of having raised $29 million at the close of the third-quarter, with $33 million cash on hand. However, the lead is beginning to shrink with Sanders’ continuing support from small, individual donors.
The closest candidate in the Republican Party is Ben Carson with nearly $21 million raised now by the third-quarter of 2015. Next is Jeb Bush after him with around $13 million, according to a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission. Above every Republican candidate and now catching Clinton is Bernie Sanders. Sanders ended the July -through-September quarter with $26.2 million raised and $27.1 million cash on hand.
Sanders has a fairly lean burn rate of around 43 percent, spending around $11 million of his $26.2 million raised this quarter. Clinton has been spending much more willingly and taking a gamble on big spending early on with a burn rate nearing 89 percent for the third-quarter. The Republicans are spending pretty willingly also with Ben Carson’s 69 percent burn rate. Still, the highest is Donald Trump having gone through more than 90 percent of the $5.8 million he has raised.
Clinton has a $100 million fundraising goal for 2015 that she expects to meet and has now spent $3.4 million on early television ad buys in battleground states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Staffing has been Clinton’s biggest expense, with payroll–related costs of $8.6 million.
Sanders is still staffing in many primary states and is working at building the ground game of staffers and volunteers first and foremost. Allowing him to have plenty of supporters on the ground in early states where he has been drawing massive crowds to speaking events.
Also, not on the report is the fact that Sanders is said to have brought in $3.2 million worth of donations during the night of the first Democratic debate last Tuesday, Oct. 13th. It is also important to note that just 270 of the over 650,000 people who have donated to Sanders’ campaign have reached their maximum of $2,700—most donations have been an average of $30. There is still plenty of ways that Sanders could draw from his past donors if they choose to continue to support his campaign with smaller donations.