Tonight, Bernie Sanders received the final dollars he needed to break a historic milestone. The senator officially hit two million individual campaign contributions, a feat that no other U.S. presidential candidate has achieved at this point in an election.
To put that number in context, Barack Obama's historic 2008 campaign managed to break just one million contributions. Sanders literally has twice what Obama had. Not only that, but Sanders reached two million faster than President Obama reached one.
Even more impressive than the number of contributions is the average size of each. As of Wednesday evening, the average donation to Sanders was less than $30, which means millions of his supporters are chipping in rather small amounts.
Now of course the goal for any candidate is to raise as much money as possible, to endure the grueling, two-year election. But Sanders cares more about the number of people contributing to his campaign than the amount they're willing to contribute.
Since the start, Bernie Sanders has built his entire movement on the support of small donors. In fact, he's uniquely positioned among all other presidential challengers in that he refuses to accept money from super PACs and pledges to return their money if it accidentally finds him. The best part is, Sanders walks the walk.
When Martin Shkreli, who infamously jacked up the price of an AIDS medication, donated to the Sanders campaign, Sanders flat out rejected his money. However, rather than returning it to Shkreli, Sanders donated its entirety to an HIV clinic.
* On Monday, December 21st, the author of this post, Brian Hanley, will be releasing the world's first animated rap video about Bernie Sanders. Please subscribe to his blog at the top of this page and stay tuned!